No other country is as divided on marijuana use as the US of A. Depending on where you get your facts from, you can have a completely different view on how much pot is being smoked in this country.
Have you ever wondered what are the real facts behind pot smoking in the United States? Here are some facts that may surprise – and even shock – the average reader.
1. Each day, approximately 6,000 Americans try marijuana for the first time. Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the United States, and is also one of the most common. Every day, 6,000 people take their first puff of green. 100,000 Americans have tried smoking marijuana at least once in their lifetimes – that means that approximately 42% of all adults in the United States have tried marijuana at least once in their lives. About 20% of those people have smoked within the past year.
2. During the American Temperance Movement, marijuana was sold as a substitute for alcohol. America has always had a strange relationship with mind-altering substances, and during the 1890’s people who were working for the illegalization of alcohol suggested smoking marijuana as a substitute. Many states currently allow people who are sick with glaucoma, certain forms of cancer, and HIV to use marijuana to ease pain, improve appetite, and also help quiet anxieties that come with their illnesses.
3. One of the first laws in America required people to grow hemp or marijuana, and that law was made official in the year 1619. Marijuana used to be a staple cash crop of early America prior to its illegalization. This was mainly because hemp was used to create all sorts of different materials, from sails to paper to clothing, and even animal feed. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper. An despite the high level of illegality attributed to Marijuana possession in the United States, every study that has examined “is marijuana addictive?” has indicated that it is drastically less addictive (if at all) compared to legal substances such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
4. Non-violent offenses for drug possession are one of the most common reasons for people to be incarcerated in the US prison system, with marijuana possession being the most common of all drug charges. Even though it is legal to use marijuana in several states across the country, marijuana is still considered to be illegal on a federal level. 848,000 people were prosecuted for marijuana-related offenses in 2009 alone.
5. 13 US states have compassionate laws in place to lessen drug charges. It’s a great thing too – it has been linked to lower crime rates!