Legalization Nation Index 2014

Why our cannabis laws make no sense.

It’s time again for our annual cannabis index. (The source of each fact is in parenthesis.)

Percentage of US residents who use cannabis monthly: 7.4 (National Survey on Drug Use and Health)

Percentage of Americans who support access to medical marijuana: 78 (

Percentage who oppose access to medical marijuana: 18 (

Percent who support cannabis legalization for adults: 50 (

Percentage who oppose legalization: 47 (

Number of states that have legalized cannabis for use by adults: 4

Percentage of Washington, DC voters who cast ballots for cannabis legalization in the November Election: 70.1 (

Percentage of Oregon voters who cast ballots for legalization: 56.1 (

Percentage of Alaska voters who cast ballots for legalization: 53.2 (

Percentage of Americans who say they that want the federal government to stay out of state medical cannabis issues and adult-use legalization: 67 (

Number of states suing federal government to block Colorado legalization: 2

Number of states with medical marijuana laws: 23 (Americans for Safe Access)

Percentage of Florida voters who cast ballots in favor of medical marijuana legalization: 57.6 (

Percentage of Florida vote that was needed to pass medical marijuana legalization: 60 (

Amount spent by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson to defeat Florida medical marijuana measure: $5 million (Washington Post)

Estimated Colorado state tax revenues from all legal cannabis sales in 2014: $84 million (Cato Institute)

Percentage decrease in Colorado roadway deaths last year: 25 (Washington Post)

Percentage decrease in violent crimes in Denver through November 30, 2014 compared to same period in 2013: 7.9 (City of Denver)

Percentage decrease in Colorado teens who reported smoking pot in 2014: 2 (MTFSurvey)

Number of stings conducted on Colorado pot shops for underage sales: 20 (Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division)

Number of Colorado pot shops busted for selling to minors: 0 (Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division)

Number of THC-laced candies reported given to Colorado trick-or-treaters: 0 (The Cannabist)

Percentage of American 12th graders who report that pot is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get: 80 (US Monitoring the Future Survey)

Number of years that more than 80 percent of American 12th graders have reported easy access to pot: 40 (USMTFS)

Number of US marijuana arrests in 2013: 609,423 (FBI)

Rank of marijuana arrests among all drug arrests: 1 (FBI, UCR)

Rank of drug arrests among all crimes: 1 (FBI)

Amount of money spent on domestic marijuana arrests: $3.6 billion (ACLU)

Average percentage of homicides that US police agencies fail to solve each year: 37 (FBI)

Percentage of reported rapes not solved by US police in 2013: 60 (FBI)

Number of times blacks are more likely to be arrested by US police for pot than whites, despite less use per capita: 3.73 (ACLU)

US penal population in 2014: 2.2 million (American Psychological Association)

Global rank of US incarceration per capita: 2 (International Centre for Prison Studies)

Number of Americans who died from unintentional prescription drug overdoses in 2012: 33,175 (CDC)

Number of humans who have died from marijuana overdoses in recorded history: 0

Percentage of California medical cannabis patients who reported substituting cannabis for prescription drugs: 66 (Harm Reduction Journal, 2009)

Percentage reduction in neuropathic pain achieved by vaporizing whole plant cannabis: 45 (The Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy)

Percentage decrease in prescription drug overdoses attributed to medical marijuana laws in states that have them: 25 (JAMA Internal Medicine)

Estimated amount of cannabis consumed by Americans per year: 2,500-5,000 metric tons. (RAND)

Rank of Mexico as a US cannabis supplier: 1 (RAND)

Estimated Mexican cartel financial losses from US legalization: $1.8 billion (The Mexico Institute for Competitiveness)

Percentage of reported decline in marijuana prices in Sinaloa, Mexico last year: 50 (Washington Post)

Number of California misdemeanor marijuana arrests in 2013: 6,587 (The Criminal Justice Statistics Center)

Percentage decline of Californians arrested since personal decriminalization passed in 2010: 71 (The Criminal Justice Statistics Center)

Serving size of THC in Colorado: 10 milligrams.

Colorado servings of THC in a California Korova Black Bar: 100

Number of 2015 bills introduced to regulate California medical marijuana: 2

Number of comprehensive medical marijuana regulations passed by the California legislature: 0

California police revenue from the seizure and sale of property related to marijuana cases from 2002 to 2012: $181.4 million (Sacramento Bee)

National rank of California police for forfeiture revenue from marijuana: 1 (Sacramento Bee)

Estimated number of California adults who have used medical cannabis for a “serious” condition: 1.4 million (Drug and Alcohol Review, 2014)

Percentage of those adults who said medical cannabis was “effective”: 92 (Drug and Alcohol Review, 2014)

Fine in Fresno County for growing a single medical marijuana plant: $1,000 

Estimated number of visitors to The Emerald Cup 2014: more than 10,000 (The Emerald Cup)

Number of entrants in the flowers category of the California Emerald Cup outdoor organic cannabis competition: more than 600 (The Emerald Cup)

Maximum amount a person can earn a year and qualify for low-income marijuana assistance in Berkeley: $32,000 (City of Berkeley)

Rank of the word “vape” on Oxford Dictionary’s list of hottest words of 2014: 1

Number of pages in Oxford University Press’ new Handbook of Cannabis: 768

Number of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that San Francisco Girl Scout Danielle Lei sold in two hours in front of a medical cannabis dispensary: 117 (Lei)

Minimum number of states likely to have legalization on the ballot in 2016: 3 (Marijuana Policy Project)

Number of states predicted to legalize by 2019: 17 (MPP)


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