The number of states where marijuana is legal for recreational use has grown to four plus the District of Columbia, so more people now have legal access to purchase cannabis to use in a marijuana vaporizer. But who is it that is smoking weed and how close are we to nationwide legalization?
Let's take a look at the facts:
Feds Are Still Treating Marijuana Harshly.
Legally, you may be able to walk into a dispensary in Colorado and buy weed for a dab pen, but the Drug Enforcement Agency is showing no signs of going easy on people who use marijuana recreationally in places outside the states where it's legal. In mid-August, the DEA issued a statement reaffirming that weed is a Class I substance, meaning they consider it as dangerous as heroin. The statement explained that there is a high potential for marijuana abuse, despite the fact that there doesn't seem to be a lot of data to support this. So basically, the idea that we're making progress in changing perceptions about cannabis may be true for everyday people, but the government is lagging behind.
Demographics for Smoking Weed and Cigarettes Are Similar.
A study from the Journal of Drug Issues recently revealed that the demographics of cigarette smokers and weed smokers are surprisingly similar. About 20 percent of those who smoke tobacco do not hold a high school diploma compared to 19 percent among cannabis users. In terms of income levels, the numbers also line up to an extent. About 27 percent of cigarette smokers make less than $20,000 per year, and about 29 percent of all marijuana smokers fall into that category.
Usage Habits Are Changing.
A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University and the Pardee RAND Graduate School analyzed how marijuana smokers changed from 2002 to 2013. The number of users increased, and most users were on the lower end of the economic scale in terms of income. People also appear to be purchasing less cannabis at once, but opting for more powerful strains. The shift in quality over quantity was based on the fact that the weight of marijuana purchases has gone down but the price has remained steady.
What these studies don't examine is what the demographics look like for weed vape pen and portable vaporizer users. You're liable to get a whole different set of statistics with those factored in; as many professionals and highly educated people who use cannabis prefer to vape rather than smoke. Despite this, it's interesting to see how habits have changed but some attitudes haven't.