The highest concentration of Americans who smoke cannabis can be found in Bay Area, San Francisco, according to a new report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The rate of past-month cannabis use in this area is estimated at 15.46%, which is twice as much as the national average.
On July 21, SAMHSA released new data that estimates nearly 20,3 million citizens of the U.S. consumed cannabis in the past month.
Every few years, the agency analyzes the data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health to define the national rate of marijuana use. The latest report from SAMHSA includes responses of 204,000 American residents aged 12 and older who were surveyed from 2012 to 2014. When converted to the national scale, it means 7.73% of American citizens have smoked cannabis in the past month.
The SAMHSA data shows that the rate of recent cannabis use varies across the country. Thus, the Western United States has 9.7% of marijuana users, while the South has 6.43% of residents smoking cannabis. Besides, there are 8.36% of pot users in the Northeast and 7.28% of weed smokers in the Midwest. At the substate level, San Francisco, California, showed the highest rate of past-month marijuana use—15.46%.
Moreover, the substate level also has 16 regions with the highest concentration of past-month cannabis smokers. In the West, Colorado has three cities with the most marijuana users, while there are two regions in California and one each in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington. In the South, there is only one region—the District of Columbia, while in the Northeast, there are three areas with the highest rate of weed usage in Rhode Island, along with two regions in Vermont, and one each in Massachusetts and Maine.
Though there is a huge variation in cannabis user concentrations across each state with legal marijuana, the overall rate of cannabis use across the country has increased slightly by less than 1% within the period from 2010 to 2012, according to the report.
SAMHSA has also discovered a negative correlation between marijuana use and people's attitudes toward the risks connected with substance consumption. Thus, the report results have shown that substate regions with lower rates of cannabis use tend to have a higher number of the residents who think that marijuana is harmful, whereas those regions with a higher concentration of marijuana smokers show a lower number of the people who consider cannabis a harmful substance. The overall rate of the nation's attitude to cannabis estimates that just 28.5% of Americans or two out of every seven citizens consider that marijuana use may be risky for their heath.
Though it may seem that people with negligent attitudes towards weed use may be more inclined to consume it, recent federal surveys have found that cannabis legalization did not enhance marijuana consumption among teenagers. Instead, the federal findings have shown a steady decrease in cannabis use among high school students comparing to the same period before the legalization.