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

Marijuana, also called weed, pot, or cannabis, comes from the cannabis plant. People use it to feel good (recreational use) or for health reasons (medical use). Depending on where you are, it can be legal or illegal. In the United States, marijuana is illegal according to federal laws, but some states have made it legal for medical use, recreational use, or both.

Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the states where medical marijuana is legal. In 2016, Pennsylvania passed the Medical Marijuana Act. This law lets people with certain health problems get and use marijuana products if a doctor recommends it. However, using marijuana just for fun is still illegal in Pennsylvania. If you have a small amount, you can get fined or even go to jail.

More People in Pennsylvania Are Using Marijuana

A recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says that more people in Pennsylvania are using marijuana. The report uses data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). It shows that Philadelphia, a city in Pennsylvania, has the highest number of marijuana users in the state.

Philadelphia: The City That Loves Weed

The report says that in 2019-2020, 16.5% of adults in Philadelphia used marijuana in the past month. This is higher than the state average of 12.8% and the national average of 15.9%. Philadelphia also has a high rate of marijuana use disorder, meaning 4.1% of people have problems like dependence or abuse, compared to 2.7% for the state and 3.1% for the country.

Why Is Marijuana So Popular in Philadelphia?

There are several reasons why more people in Philadelphia use marijuana:

  1. Demographics: Philadelphia is the largest and most diverse city in Pennsylvania, with about 1.6 million people. It has more young adults, racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income households, all groups that tend to use more marijuana.
  2. Culture: Philadelphia has a rich cultural history and is known for its artistic and political activism. Many famous people from Philadelphia, like Will Smith, Questlove, Kevin Hart, and Meek Mill, support or use marijuana. The city also hosts events that celebrate marijuana, like the Philly Smoke Session, the Philly Cannabis Cup, and the Philly NORML Freedom Rally.
  3. Policy: Philadelphia has more relaxed marijuana laws compared to the rest of the state. In 2014, the city made possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana a civil offense with just a $25 fine. In 2016, Philadelphia started a program that lets people caught with small amounts of drugs avoid arrest if they complete a social service referral. In 2019, the district attorney, Larry Krasner, said his office would stop prosecuting people for having marijuana, no matter the amount.


Philadelphia is the city in Pennsylvania where people use the most marijuana, according to SAMHSA. The city’s high marijuana use and marijuana use disorder rates might be due to its demographics, culture, and lenient policies.

While some people see this as a sign of freedom and tolerance, others worry about the possible health and social problems that can come from using marijuana, such as driving under the influence, mental health issues, and addiction. As Pennsylvania thinks about making recreational marijuana legal in the future, it will need to consider the views and needs of its diverse communities, especially in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love and weed.

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