Here’s How Cannabis Consumption in Georgia Compares to the Rest of the US

In May, Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana use. After decades of activism, marijuana users and advocates are finally seeing a large-scale relaxation of marijuana restrictions at the state level. The District of Columbia and Guam have also legalized recreational pot.

THC, one of the psychoactive compounds in marijuana, can cause euphoria when smoked or ingested, though it can also cause anxiety. Besides smoking for pleasure, many use marijuana for medical reasons, including the relief of chronic pain, insomnia, nausea, tremors associated with Parkinson’s Disease, and anxiety. Another active compound in marijuana is CBD, which is purported to carry some of the same medical benefits without causing the associated high. (Take a look at these foods and drinks enhanced with CBD.)

For the states that have legalized cannabis use, marijuana has been a boon for government coffers. Many states with fully operational marijuana programs brought in tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue off of cannabis sales in 2021. California reported marijuana tax revenue in excess of $1 billion that year.

Despite its federal status as a controlled substance, people across the country have used marijuana on a regular basis, and continue to do so.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1,546,000 people in Georgia aged 12 and up have reportedly used marijuana in the last year – or 17.2% of the 12 and older population, the 19th lowest usage rate among states.

Marijuana’s legal status is mixed in Georgia, as CBD oil is permitted for medicinal purposes, but recreational use has not been decriminalized.

All data on marijuana usage rates is from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, published in March 2023. The legal status of marijuana use in each state, last updated on July 1 2023, came from DISA, a third-party administrator of drug and alcohol testing, background screening, and more for employers.

RankStateShare of residents age 12+ who have used marijuana in past year ($)Residents age 12+ who have used marijuana in past yearLegal status in state
1Vermont30.8175,000Fully Legal
2Oregon28.81,052,000Fully Legal
3Alaska27.0158,000Fully Legal
4Washington25.91,691,000Fully Legal
5Massachusetts25.61,552,000Fully Legal
6Maine24.8298,000Fully Legal
7Nevada24.8659,000Fully Legal
8Colorado24.71,217,000Fully Legal
9Michigan24.72,118,000Fully Legal
10Rhode Island24.2229,000Fully Legal
12New Mexico22.8406,000Fully Legal
13Arizona21.91,348,000Fully Legal
14Montana21.6203,000Fully Legal
15New York21.13,578,000Fully Legal
16Illinois21.02,247,000Fully Legal
17California20.86,886,000Fully Legal
18Connecticut19.9619,000Fully Legal
21Delaware19.2164,000Fully Legal
22Maryland19.1988,000Fully Legal
24Kansas19.0459,000Fully Illegal
26Missouri18.6963,000Fully Legal
28New Hampshire18.5225,000Mixed
29Virginia18.01,304,000Fully Legal
31Wyoming17.284,000Fully Illegal
35West Virginia16.6253,000Mixed
36North Dakota16.5105,000Mixed
37New Jersey16.31,285,000Fully Legal
38South Carolina15.6687,000Fully Illegal
41Idaho15.3242,000Fully Illegal
45Nebraska14.4233,000Fully Illegal
46North Carolina13.71,219,000Fully Illegal
47South Dakota13.7100,000Mixed

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