If you’ve been paying attention to the changing tides of popular opinion over the last few decades, you may have noticed a shift in how people view certain substances. One shift that has been growing in popularity is towards a more favorable view of cannabis, both medically and recreationally. But with this shift comes a question: is cannabis more popular than tobacco today?
The short answer is yes.
Looking at the numbers
The long answer? There isn’t one right way to measure popularity; in fact, it’s good to have a wide variety of statistics that point you in the right direction. The most straightforward way to look at this popularity shift is by simply looking at the data from people who use tobacco and cannabis regularly. For instance, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2019, 19.1% of adults in the US said they used cannabis in the past year, whereas only 13.2% of people reported using tobacco. In this case, cannabis tears tobacco to shreds.
Another way to measure the popularity of cannabis vs. tobacco is to look at the overall societal attitudes toward each of them. In the 1990s, most Americans viewed cannabis as a dangerous drug with no medical benefits. Today, however, a growing number of people view cannabis as a safe and effective medicine and support its legalization for both medicinal and recreational use. And we all know about the dangers of tobacco use – it’s a known fact that it can cause a whole host of health problems, from lung cancer to heart disease. So as you can tell, cannabis has seen a significant shift in public opinion over the last few decades.
This shift in public opinion? Research, baby. It’s all research. Back in the 1990s, we didn’t have access to as many answers as we have now, so we can only draw these scientific conclusions from the growing body of research supporting the use of cannabis that’s been going on since then. Numerous studies have shown that cannabis can effectively treat various conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and PTSD. And as more and more people experience the benefits of cannabis firsthand, it’s no surprise that people want in.
Cannabis isn’t entirely off the hook yet, there are still many people who view cannabis as a dangerous drug, and there are still many laws and regulations that restrict its use. In fact, cannabis is still illegal at the federal level in the US, which means that even in states where it is legal, there are still many legal and regulatory hurdles that users and businesses must navigate. But hey, there’s progress, right?
While the data and societal approval point towards cannabis as more popular than tobacco, it’s important to remember that both substances have unique challenges and risks. Cannabis *can* have adverse side effects on some people, while tobacco use has proven time and time again to be a hazardous drug. But hey, whether you choose to indulge in a little Mary Jane or not, the most important thing is to stay informed and make smart choices. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll live in a world where cannabis is legal and widely accepted – stranger things have happened, right?