What Percent of the Population Smokes Weed?

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    TheDeuce's Avatar
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    What Percent of the Population Smokes Weed?

    Two part question here: In your opinion, what percentage of the population currently smokes weed?

    And

    If it were legal on a federal and state level, what percentage of people would smoke?

    I'd say currently 40-50% of people smoke weed at least occasionally. If legal, I think that number goes up to 60-70%.

    What do you think?
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    Mediocre Nachos's Avatar
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    This one is tough to gauge. Many people of all ages may currently use it for a variety of different reasons (recreational/medicinal). I'll say the percentage of current users is a little lower than what you estimate, strictly because it is still illegal and also because they are drug tested through work.

    I'll go with 20% of the population that currently use.

    If it's legalized, I predict that number will bump up to 40%.

    If it's not drug tested through employers, I'll predict 50% will use if legalized.

    I guess you have to think of it in terms like what percentage of the current population drinks alcohol. That's kind of what I used when thinking about it. Not everyone likes to be in an altered state so I think it's a little lower than your estimates but I could be way wrong.

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    CincySportsFan's Avatar
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    I think your estimates are high, in my opinion. If the demographic breakdown (listed below) is correct from Wikipedia, if you took the 0-14, and 65+ groups out...that'd leave you with 65% of the population...meaning practically EVERYONE in the remaining groups would have to smoke it to get to your 60-70% range, if it became legal everywhere. I just don't see that happening.

    0–14 years: 18.62%
    15–24 years: 13.12%
    25–54 years: 39.29%
    55–64 years: 12.94%
    65 years and over: 16.03%

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    To clarify, I meant people who smoke for ANY reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CincySportsFan View Post
    I think your estimates are high, in my opinion. If the demographic breakdown (listed below) is correct from Wikipedia, if you took the 0-14, and 65+ groups out...that'd leave you with 65% of the population...meaning practically EVERYONE in the remaining groups would have to smoke it to get to your 60-70% range, if it became legal everywhere. I just don't see that happening.

    0–14 years: 18.62%
    15–24 years: 13.12%
    25–54 years: 39.29%
    55–64 years: 12.94%
    65 years and over: 16.03%
    I think everyone that currently smokes, currently smokes cigarettes and/or cigars, and people who consume alcohol would all smoke weed if it were legal. The frequency would be another debate.

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    GrantNKY's Avatar
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    I like Mediocre Nachos’s numbers. 20% smoke now. 40% would if legal everywhere. 50% if legal and not employer drug tested.

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    GrantNKY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    I think everyone that currently smokes, currently smokes cigarettes and/or cigars, and people who consume alcohol would all smoke weed if it were legal. The frequency would be another debate.
    I think there is still a particularly large faction specifically those in heavily conservative and religious areas that will always hold a stigma against weed that doesn’t exist with tobacco products and in a lot of cases alcohol as well. I think it would take decades to breakdown those stigmas completely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    I think everyone that currently smokes, currently smokes cigarettes and/or cigars, and people who consume alcohol would all smoke weed if it were legal. The frequency would be another debate.
    I just don't see it. Maybe I'm living with my head in the sand, but I think the number of people who smoke it now "at least occasionally" is much lower. I'm going to say 15-20%. Maybe that's completely off. But that'd be 65 million people (on the high end). And, even if it's legal...I guess I just don't see it getting much higher than 30-35%. Again, this if for repeated use. Now, for the number of people who will try it at least once...that number will skyrocket, no doubt.

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    Just for reference, the CDC says that 14% of the population smoked cigarettes in 2017.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    Two part question here: In your opinion, what percentage of the population currently smokes weed?

    And

    If it were legal on a federal and state level, what percentage of people would smoke?

    I'd say currently 40-50% of people smoke weed at least occasionally. If legal, I think that number goes up to 60-70%.

    What do you think?
    I do think that number is too high. Very few of my immediate friends smoke, and most (including myself) wouldn't even know where to begin to even buy weed. And I think most would be put off simply because it is illegal, and because of drug testing. I'd be surprised if more than 20% of the population is using.

    Obviously, those numbers would go up if it were legal. But again, because of drug testing on the job, if weed remained prohibited, I don't think you would see a huge jump where 50% or more would be using. I'm not going to smoke whether its legal or not, and I think many feel the same way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjs4470 View Post
    I do think that number is too high. Very few of my immediate friends smoke, and most (including myself) wouldn't even know where to begin to even buy weed. And I think most would be put off simply because it is illegal, and because of drug testing. I'd be surprised if more than 20% of the population is using.

    Obviously, those numbers would go up if it were legal. But again, because of drug testing on the job, if weed remained prohibited, I don't think you would see a huge jump where 50% or more would be using. I'm not going to smoke whether its legal or not, and I think many feel the same way.
    My high numbers assumed employers would stop testing for it, and included folks who would try it for the first (and maybe only) time.

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    Honest question here...if weed became legal everywhere...how much would it cost in comparison to cigarettes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    Two part question here: In your opinion, what percentage of the population currently smokes weed?

    And

    If it were legal on a federal and state level, what percentage of people would smoke?

    I'd say currently 40-50% of people smoke weed at least occasionally. If legal, I think that number goes up to 60-70%.

    What do you think?
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    My high numbers assumed employers would stop testing for it, and included folks who would try it for the first (and maybe only) time.
    You need to re-word the initial question then. You may very well be right with regards to the number of people who try it once...but, I think repeated use is a completely different number.

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    Jumper_Dad's Avatar
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    Decades from now Deuce's numbers may be correct. I think right now, from what I've read, the national average of those that have smoked it in the last year is around 14% in all states. It's around 20% usage in the last 12 months in states where it is legalized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    My high numbers assumed employers would stop testing for it, and included folks who would try it for the first (and maybe only) time.
    That would make things different. I think a high percentage of people would try it. I don't think a high (no pun intended) percentage would become regular users.

    I completely quit drinking almost 9 months ago, and am amazed at the number of people I've come across that don't drink.

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