Fight Fire with Fire: Three U.S. Cities Now Boast More Cannabis Consumption than Cigarettes

What do Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington have in common? If you answered, “A disturbingly high population of wooks”, well, you’re not wrong, but that’s not exactly the answer we are looking for.

As it turns out, these are the only three major metropolitan areas in the United States that can make the claim that their collective cannabis use outweighs their collective cigarette consumption.

Focusing on Seattle for a moment, recent polling suggests that 16% of residents of the Seattle-Tacoma region of the Pacific Northwest confess to still smoking cigs. Compare that to the 700,000 residents who now loudly and proudly admit their legal cannabis use in the same region, a number that translates to roughly 17%. A close race, but it appears the scales have tipped in favor of cannabis.

Those seven hundred thousand Seattle stoners have earned their city the 4th highest such consumption percentage ranking, behind other canna-friendly epicenters like Denver, Las Vegas, and Portland.

Portland also made the list of cities that smoke more weed than cigs with a whopping 20% of residents there fessing up to having taken at least one toke in the past 30 days. Again, this edges out nicotine fiends by roughly one percentage point but again, trends must start somewhere.

On the flip side of that is Denver, in the state that blazed the trail for recreational cannabis legalization back in 2014, where 18% of residents say they smoke weed, but 19% still fire up an occasional cig as well.

The Nielson survey allegedly hit up 200,000 people nationwide to gather this data and their key finding was that cities with the highest levels of cannabis use are found in states that have legalized the adult use of the plant. Hopefully they didn’t spend too much money coming to that OBVIOUS CONCLUSION.

Their data did turn up one curious anomaly, however. Albuquerque-Santa Fe ranked 8th on the list of 70 major metropolitan areas despite the fact that New Mexico has not passed comprehensive cannabis reform…yet…

Nationwide polling is beginning to favor cannabis reform by wider and wider margins, regardless of what the actual question being polled is. Of course, I’ve never been polled on such a question. I don’t know anyone who has. As such, it is hard to lend too much validity to the hard numbers, but it is impossible to deny the groundswell of support for the plant that just didn’t exist five years ago.

Cigarette/tobacco companies certainly are not denying it or ignoring it. Hell, they are trying to invest in it! Between cannabis legalization and the proliferation of e-cig use, Big Tobacco is getting slaughtered in sales and the numbers coming out of canna-legal states and metropolitan areas back this up.

This is a good thing. If you happen to smoke cigarettes, this shouldn’t bother or offend you. Do you! But you’d have to be crazy to argue that reducing the number of people smoking cigs is somehow a bad thing for society.

Similar polling revealed that neither cannabis or nicotine can come close to touching the popularity of the nation’s favorite mind-altering substance – alcohol. Back in Seattle, 48% of those polled admitted to having imbibed some booze within the past seven days.

Give legal weed a few more years to take root and it is highly likely that we’ll see it top alcohol consumption too.

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