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Cannabis Consumption Increases in the U.S., with One Surprising State Taking the #1 Spot

Published on January 2, 2015 · Last updated September 1, 2022

A new National Survey on Drug Use and Health offered a surprising #1 consumer of cannabis in the United States: Rhode Island. In a state-by-state comparison of cannabis use, the title of highest percentage of people over the age of 12 who have consumed cannabis within the past month belongs to the smallest state in the country, with nearly 16 percent of the population, or 1 in 6 residents, owning up to cannabis consumption.

This means that Rhode Island tops even Colorado, where the number of residents over the age of 12 who have used cannabis in the previous month was 1 in 8 people. According to the survey, Colorado came in second overall for usage behind Rhode Island and tied with the District of Columbia.

The major conclusion appears to be that marijuana use is increasing overall in the United States in the past two years, although the study did not include statistics since the legalization in Colorado and Washington have gone into effect. In the United States, 7.4% of Americans over the age of 12 used cannabis within the previous month, an increase of a full four percent within the past year.

Pulling data from past surveys found that cannabis consumption in Washington increased by about 20% since the legalization, to 12.3%. Colorado jumped from 10.4% in 2011-2012, to 12.7% in the latest data, a 22% increase in the past year of legalization. Even more impressive is a study by Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division from earlier this year that found 22% of the total cannabis users in the state of Colorado consumed 67% of the cannabis. My, my. That’s a lot of cannabis.

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Lisa Rough
Lisa Rough
Lisa is a former associate editor at Leafly, where she specialized in legislative cannabis policy and industry topics.
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