The Huffington Post recently released a survey that asked a bunch of questions about marijuana consumption. One of the questions that seems to have received the most attention was 'If marijuana were legal in your state, how often would you buy it?' Most marijuana media outlets reported that roughly 1 in 4 answered yes, they would buy marijuana if it were legal in their state. However, this statement is a bit misleading. When you look further into the survey, the previously mentioned result came from 'those who have ever tried marijuana or would consider trying it and live in a state in which marijuana is illegal.'
So it's not 1 out of every 4 who participated in the survey - it's out of people that have, or considered, consuming marijuana previously, and live in a state where marijuana is currently illegal (not Colorado or Washington). When you state it that way, it's kind of surprising that only 1 out of 4 people under those conditions would consider purchasing legal marijuana. It's even more surprising when you look at the breakdown, where only 4% said they would do it often, 10% sometimes, and 12% rarely. I think if there was a follow up question to the same crowd of participants, 'would you grow your own marijuana instead of buying it if it was legal to do so in your state' it would reveal a lot.
I know if I was asked these questions, I would probably end up in the 'rarely' purchase category, but 'often' growing category. I would like to see a breakdown by participants split between Washington and Colorado, because I'd imagine results would be quite different for both states. In Washington, their legalization model doesn't allow home cultivation, while Washington does. Obviously more people would be inclined to purchase legal marijuana in Washington than Colorado because they have to.
I hope future surveys throw in questions like 'if your state adopted the Washington legalization model, how would you answer' and 'if your state adopted the Colorado legalization model, how would you answer?' What is likely to become the 'Oregon model' of legalization would result in different answers for sure. People's marijuana purchasing habits will largely be influenced by what model their state adopts. Habits will also be influenced by the supply history of each state. In a state where marijuana is scarce results will show more people answering yes. In states like Oregon where marijuana is already everywhere and people get it from friends for cheap or free, not as much.
To read the results of this very interesting survey click here.