How Much Does Your State Love Weed? These Are The Most & Least Enthusiastic States On Marijuana, According To Estately
There's been a lot of movement in terms of the legalization of marijuana across the country recently, and a lot of people are excited to have access to weed for medical and recreational purposes. However, because states have been acting individually on marijuana-related legislation, there are major inconsistencies in state policies and laws: What is perfectly legal in one state could land you serious jail time if you cross boarders into the state besides it. This leads me to wonder: Which states are the most and least enthusiastic about marijuana? Luckily, Estately created an awesome map and ranking system of states based on how enthusiastic they are about marijuana.
Now, "enthusiasm" can mean different things to different people, but for the purpose of their rankings, Estately took into account five variables: Legality, consumption, affordability, online searches, and publicly expressed interest. I'm a data nerd, so I was really interested in the specifics of this methodology, and was pleased to see Estately shared their process in a good bit of detail.
For example, for legality, Estately evaluated ranked states on whether marijuana was recreational, medicinal, decriminalized, or illegal. For consumption, they looked at the percentage of people who reported using marijuana in the last month. Estately used Google-related searches to evaluate interest in marijuana, and for affordability, they checked out the average cost of both high and low quality weed. And lastly, to evaluate general interest, Estately looked at Facebook interest in marijuana-themed publications.
So, where does everyone rank? Here are the five states that took the top slots on the "most enthusiastic" list; you can check out the full rankings here at Estately.
Surprising no one, Colorado came in first with a major sweep. Notably, Colorado earned a perfect 100 in terms of legalization and a solid 85 in terms of affordability. Colorado's weed tourism economy is booming right now, as well.
2. Washington State
Also on the West Coast, Washington (the state, not the District of Columbia) ranks second in Estately's ranking. While marijuana is slightly more affordable in Washington than Colorado, it appears overall public interest is lower in Washington, with only 21 points, as opposed to 57 in Colorado. As recreational marijuana is legal in both states, it's no surprise they top the list.
Where else is recreational weed legal? Good old Portland, Ore.! Well, it's legal in the entire state, but I can't think of Oregon without thinking of Portlandia and hipsters. Oregon's population has relative little interest in online searches, coming in at only 36 on that front, but their weed got a perfect score in terms of affordability.
4. New Mexico
New Mexico allows medicinal marijuana, but it's not legal for recreational use. New Mexico earned a 100 in terms of publicly expressed interest, though, which leads me to believe the people of New Mexico want to enjoy marijuana out in their state's beautiful landscapes.
Bringing us to the East Coast is the rustic state of Maine. While recreational marijuana is not legal in Maine, medicinal marijuana is. Maine is moving towards the legalization of recreational marijuana, which may explain why it ranks so highly in Google searches.
Who ranked the lowest? With weed still being illegal in Virginia, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, and North Dakota, respectively, these states came in the bottom five. These states also rank as having a low public interest in marijuana, and for those who do use the substance, the affordability is low (minus Utah, where they earn a whopping 63 on weed affordability, in spite of it being illegal there). All in all, it seems like the US is slowly moving towards the legalization of marijuana at least in the majority of the country, if not across the board. Until then, always make sure you understand the laws and ramifications of marijuana use, and remember that laws and punishments can vary greatly depending on where in the country you are.
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