As legalization of marijuana – either completely or for medical use – spreads across the United States, the government is understandably trying to keep track of what impact it has on society, if any at all.
The state of Colorado, in which it is legal to smoke pot, has just released its latest survey results on smoking habits, including the most stoned occupation. It probably won’t come as too much of a surprise that those who work in the food industry are the biggest smokers, but the results do give an interesting breakdown into how legalizing the drug has impacted Colorado.
Well, it probably doesn’t take a genius to work out that the heaviest weed smoking demographic in Colorado is young white men.
After surveying 26,936 people on the phone, and quizzing them on their smoking behavior, along with a bunch of other metrics such as age, ethnicity, sex, and occupation between 2014 and 2015, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has only just got round to publishing their results.
They found that of the 10,169 Coloradans who were employed, 14.6 percent reported having smoked in the last 30 days. Those between the ages of 18 to 25 were most likely to smoke (29.6 percent), as were men compared to women (17.2 percent and 11.3 percent respectively). When it came to ethnicity, white people topped the list at 15.3 percent, followed by Hispanics at 15.1 percent and African Americans at 14.5 percent.
One of the most interesting aspects of the survey, however, was the breakdown of which occupations attracted the most stoners. It turns out that those who work in the “food preparation and serving” industry were the heaviest pot users, with 32.2 percent of people having smoked marijuana within the last 30 days.
Whether this is because of the access it gives them to delicious snacks, or, more probably, the stressful hours chefs and their staff work, the study failed to elucidate. We don’t want to stereotype, but it seems hardly surprising the next occupation on the list was those who work in “arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media”.
At the other end of the scale, it showed that those working in the “healthcare and technical” sector were least likely to be lighting up, with only 3.1 percent having done so in the last month, followed by those in the “protective service”, where just 6.2 percent had smoked in the past 30 days.
Obviously, these results are very specific to the state in question, but it is a fascinating snapshot of how legalizing marijuana impacts society.