This City in Pennsylvania Is Smoking More Weed Than Anywhere Else in the State

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Written By Ryan Johnson






A psychoactive substance derived from the cannabis plant is marijuana, also referred to as weed, reefer, or cannabis. It is employed for either medical or recreational purposes, contingent upon the legal status and accessibility of various regions. Marijuana is unlawful at the federal level in the United States; however, certain states have legalized it for medical or recreational purposes, or for both.

Pennsylvania is one of the states that has legalized medical marijuana, having enacted the Medical Marijuana Act in 2016. With a physician’s recommendation, the act permits patients with specific qualifying conditions to acquire and utilize marijuana products from licensed dispensaries. Nevertheless, recreational marijuana is still illegal in Pennsylvania, and even small quantities of it can result in fines or jail time.

Some Pennsylvanians are smoking more weed than ever before, despite the legal hazards, according to a recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Philadelphia is the most cannabis-friendly city in Pennsylvania, according to the report, which is based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love and Weed

Philadelphia had the highest rate of marijuana use among adults aged 18 and older in Pennsylvania, with 16.5% of the population reporting past-month use in 2019-2020, according to the SAMHSA report. This is substantially higher than the national average of 15.9% and the state average of 12.8%. Philadelphia also had the highest rate of marijuana use disorder, with 4.1% of the population meeting the criteria for dependence or abuse, compared to 2.7% for the state and 3.1% for the nation.

What is the reason for the excessive consumption of marijuana in Philadelphia? There are numerous potential contributors, including:

Philadelphia is the most populous and diverse metropolis in Pennsylvania, with a population of approximately 1.6 million. According to the NSDUH data, it has a higher number of low-income households, racial and ethnic minorities, and young adults than the rest of the state, all of which are characterized by higher rates of marijuana use.

Philadelphia has a lengthy and illustrious history of social and political activism, as well as cultural and artistic expression. Will Smith, Questlove, Kevin Hart, and Meek Mill are among the numerous celebrities, musicians, writers, and artists who have publicly supported or utilized marijuana. The city also sponsors numerous events and festivals that commemorate cannabis culture, including the Philly Smoke Session, the Philly Cannabis Cup, and the Philly NORML Freedom Rally.

Policy: Philadelphia has implemented a more progressive and lenient marijuana policy than the rest of the state. In 2014, the city decriminalized the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana, reducing the penalty from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil citation with a $25 fine.

A pre-arrest diversion program was implemented by the city in 2016. This program enables individuals who are apprehended with minor quantities of drugs, such as marijuana, to avoid arrest and prosecution by submitting a social service referral. Larry Krasner, the district attorney of the city, declared in 2019 that his office would cease to prosecute marijuana possession cases, regardless of their quantity.

In Conclusion

According to a recent report by SAMHSA, Philadelphia is the city in Pennsylvania where the highest prevalence of marijuana consumption is observed. The city’s adult population exhibits a high prevalence of marijuana use and marijuana use disorder, which may be influenced by its demographics, culture, and policy.

Although some may interpret this as a symbol of tolerance and freedom, others may be apprehensive about the potential health and social repercussions of marijuana use, including addiction, mental health issues, and impaired driving. Pennsylvania may need to balance the interests and preferences of its diverse and dynamic communities, particularly Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love and weed, as it contemplates the legalization of recreational marijuana in the future.

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