85+ Must-Know Marijuana Statistics and Facts (Infographic)

Marijuana Statistics

Aren’t we living in exciting times? Marijuana statistics are changing so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up the track! However, we hope we have succeeded in bringing you the most recent and important stats for this year.

We’re going to look at this magnificent and controversial plant from several angles. You’ll see just how many people in the world love using it, the head-spinning figures about the sales and revenues, disappointing criminal statistics, and many more.

Key Marijuana Facts and Statistics to Know in 2020

  • Medical marijuana helped over 90% of the people who were using it.
  • Marijuana is the second most frequently found substance in drivers’ bodies after serious traffic accidents.
  • $326 is the average price for 1oz of high-quality marijuana
  • Over 50% of Americans have tried cannabis at some point in their lives.
  • Marijuana is not a gateway drug.
  • The most expensive marijuana is sold in the District of Columbia.
  • 24% of young adult Americans use marijuana, as reported by marijuana usage statistics.
  • At the moment, medical marijuana is legalized in 33 states.
  • A twin study from 2019 confirmed that marijuana usage does not cause a drop of 8 IQ points.
  • No one has still died of a marijuana overdose.

In order for you to gain a better insight, we’ve collected a plethora of riveting stats and facts you have to know about, all neatly presented in this infographic. Let’s take a look!Marijuana Statistics - Infographic

Marijuana Use Statistics That Support Legalization

1. There are 263 million cannabis consumers around the world.


The previous usage statistics from 2017 estimated the number to be about 238 million.

However, with the word about its medicinal use spreading faster than ever and more approved scientific evidence, it’s only logical to witness an even bigger increase in the years to come.

2. Over 50% of Americans have tried cannabis at some point in their lives.

(The Sacramento Bee)

About 55 million US citizens are current users, marijuana users statistics report.

Admittedly, that would mean they consumed cannabis in the previous year at least once or twice.

On the other hand, the survey says there are about 35 million regular users, using cannabis once or twice per month.

3. One in seven adult US citizens was reported to use marijuana in 2017. 


Overall, smoking marijuana continued to be the most popular way to enjoy its effects while vaping and edibles were the preferred way of consumption in marijuana-legal states.

4. In 2018, marijuana was the most used illicit drug in the country as recorded by the statistics on marijuana usage.


Not only is marijuana used in all 50 states, but it is illegally cultivated in all of them, too. Due to the large consumption and interest, a large amount of marijuana is (illegally) imported.

Mexico is the biggest marijuana supplier for the States.

5. 24% of young adult Americans use marijuana.


24% of Americans between the age of 18 and 29 are said to use marijuana, making this the age group with the largest percentage of marijuana users.

6. Marijuana statistics confirm US seniors are the fastest-growing group of marijuana consumers.  


Apparently, marijuana consumption is one area immune to ageism. Americans over 50 years old are more and more turning to alternatives to their prescribed medicines.

Legalization and appeal of marijuana products, such as vape pens, have inspired a more relaxed attitude among seniors towards marijuana use.

7. The number of cannabis smokers could surpass the number of tobacco smokers.

(The Sacramento Bee)

Right now, there are 4 million more nicotine enthusiasts than those that relish cannabis, but that may change soon enough.

Especially, if we take a look at the expansion of medical cannabis and marijuana’s effects on people’s health.

8. Marijuana may reduce alcohol consumption.


In states where marijuana has been made legal, alcohol sales have shown a significant drop of 15%.

9. In a 2014 study, 60% of cannabis users were men.


There is also some evidence in the statistics that women have become keener on marijuana usage, but it is unclear if there has really been an increase, or whether women feel more at ease today admitting marijuana usage.

10. Colorado marijuana users are very industrious.


Marijuana legalization statistics tell us that in the year 2014, one-third of Colorado pot users were responsible for 87% of marijuana demand.

11. Marijuana has a different effect on users regarding their gender.


Men tend to get more “high”, whereas women are more prone to memory impairment. Also, women tend to feel an increased appetite more than men.

However, men are generally more interested in trying illicit substances than women, and therefore more prone to visiting emergency rooms.

Medical Marijuana Statistics 

12. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana.

(Medical Marijuana, Inc.)

From then on, more states have followed suit, and the passing of the Farm Bill is a positive sign even more states will join.

One species of cannabis has been made legal (industrial hemp), but we are still waiting for marijuana to be approved on the federal level.

13. Medical marijuana helped over 90% of the people who were using it.

(Washington Post)

According to a survey done in California, 92% of medical marijuana patients confirmed marijuana helped them with their condition.

14. At the moment, medical marijuana is legalized in 33 states.


We are still waiting for more statistics on marijuana and scientific research to prove medical marijuana advantages. However, scientific studies require special approval.

Virginia is on the way to decriminalizing cannabis fully in 2020.

15. In 2018, California entered marijuana statistics as the state with the highest number of medical marijuana patients. 


915,845 Californian patients had their medical cards and were allowed to use marijuana for treating their state.

16. Severe pain is the most frequent reason for taking medical marijuana.


According to Colorado marijuana statistics, the top reported condition for which patients requested medical marijuana treatment was extreme pain.

Marijuana Legalization Statistics

17. Legalizing cannabis would cause financial issues for the American Congress.

(Motley Fool)

If all of the cannabis were legalized, that would cause a  $5 billion reduction of cash flow for the Congress in the next decade.

Namely, cannabis businesses are paying extremely high taxes. If cannabis was treated as any other legal substance, there would no longer exist the justification for such actions.

We still remember it was only in 2014 that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment prohibited the US Department of Justice to use federal funds for discouraging states from implementing medical marijuana laws on their own.

18. 2 out of 3 Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis.

(Washington Post)

Marijuana statistics show the number of antagonists has dropped significantly, from 52% to 32% in the last decade.

Interestingly, the Pew Research Center survey showed that people are unanimous about the legalization across all gender, racial, and educational groups. People of the world, unite!

19. 63% of Baby Boomers support legalization.

(Washington Post)

65% of Generation X share the opinion, while millennials are the most fervent marijuana supporters — even 76%!

On the other hand, stats on marijuana tell us the silent generation (people older than 74) are not that keen on the idea, with a mere 35% of them being pro-legalization.

20. On average, a medical marijuana user spends $136 on one purchase, which is made every 10 days. 

(GREEN Entrepreneur)

This is much more than a recreational user’s spending ($49). They also tend to use it less frequently (every 14 days, on average).

Marijuana Criminal Statistics

21. The War on Drugs was declared by President Nixon in 1971.


The War on Drugs was only a tool to deal with antiwar protests and associate hippies with cannabis use in order to arrest them more easily. Similarly, African American arrests were made more feasible by associating them with heroin usage.

22. Marijuana is the second most frequently found substance in drivers’ bodies after serious traffic accidents. 

(Drug Free World)

Right next to alcohol, marijuana is the second most frequently found substance in the bodies of drivers involved in fatal automobile accidents.

According to Drug Free World marijuana statistics, if a driver involved in fatal car crashes has some kind of substance in their blood, it is most probably alcohol, but marijuana is a close second.

23. In the US, marijuana is regarded as dangerous as heroin or LSD.


Marijuana is enlisted as the Schedule 1 drug. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still holds the opinion that marijuana (especially the indica species) has no currently accepted medical use and is prone to substance abuse.

24. One marijuana bust happens every 48 seconds.


Despite the legalization efforts, the number of arrests is only getting higher.

Out of all the drug arrests in the USA in 2017, marijuana incarceration statistics show marijuana made up for almost half of it.

25. You are more likely to get arrested for marijuana possession if you are an African American.

(Baltimore Sun)

The harsh racial disparity is even more shocking if you know the fact there is no data confirming African Americans are larger consumers of marijuana than any other minority or majority.

26. Marijuana arrests statistics report 92% of marijuana arrests are due to — possession.

(Pew Research Center)

Despite the fact more and more states are legalizing it (Virginia being the latest to pass the bill), the figures about marijuana arrests keep rising.

663,000 cannabis arrests were made in 2018, based on the most recent FBI data. Only 8% of them were due to illegal sales or manufacturing.

27. Marijuana-related offenses make up for 40% of all drug arrests in the US, marijuana crime statistics report.

(Pew Research Center) (Insider)

This is an absolutely devastating fact and we can’t help but wonder how much money could be saved instead of wasted if cannabis was legalized on the federal level.

What is more, if an individual wants to defend a marijuana arrest, that can cost between $2,000 and $20,000,  so you’d better have a specialized lawyer.

28. The US spent about $6,036.9 million dollars on marijuana prohibition in 2016.

(Cato Institute)

In 2013, the figure was $3.6 billion wasted on enforcing marijuana possession laws alone.

Extremely depressing figures, especially regarding the medical benefits of CBD oil.

Marijuana Addiction Statistics

29. Cannabis is less addictive than alcohol and opioids.

(Harvard Gazette)

According to Kevin Hill, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry, the main issue is the lack of right education that would diminish the chances of cannabis use disorder (CUD).

Consequently, the less addictive nature of cannabis and uncertainty about the right dosage, as well as the fact that it can affect people in a different way, can cause serious issues.

30. A twin study from 2019 confirmed that marijuana usage does not cause a drop of 8 IQ points.


The infamous long term effects of marijuana’s usage were denied in the latest research.

The 2019 study compared 428 twin pairs and found no scientific evidence for the previous claim. As a matter of fact, the only drops in intelligence occurred in both twins — the one that was using marijuana, and the other who wasn’t.

According to 2012 research, people who started smoking marijuana as teenagers and continued to do so when they became adults lost an average of 8 IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38.

31. 6.3% of Americans have experienced cannabis use disorder (CUD) at some point.  


CUD is one of the most serious long term side effects of marijuana’s usage. About 6 million Americans dealt with CUD in 2015. Only 7% of them received some kind of treatment.

Cannabis use disorder is characterized by adverse effects on personal and professional life, craving, withdrawal, and a lack of control.

32. People using marijuana are 3 times more likely to become addicted to heroin, while those using opioid painkillers have 40 times greater chances.


Marijuana user statistics have shown that there is a chance of becoming addicted to heroin if one is already suffering from cannabis use disorder (CUD).

Alcohol addicts are less prone to it (two times more likely), but marijuana is nowhere near prescription opioid painkillers – those addicted to painkillers are 40 times(!) more likely to get addicted to heroin.

33. Marijuana is not a gateway drug. 


Marijuana gateway drug statistics tell us that even though people using marijuana may turn to drug abuse, there is no uniform tendency. Otherwise, it could be said for alcohol to be a gateway substance, too.

34. Smoking marijuana can increase the heart rate for up to 3 hours afterward.


Among other marijuana side effects are impaired memory and movement, altered senses, moodiness, difficulty in problem-solving and thinking.

34. Marijuana is not safe for pregnant women.

(Today’s Parent)

Despite the fact that marijuana is very helpful for reducing nausea, smoking marijuana during pregnancy statistics confirm marijuana is not recommendable during pregnancy. It can reduce the oxygen flow to the baby, make the placenta more penetrable and allow for a part of the THC content to harm the baby.

35. There are no marijuana death statistics to report since no one has ever died of a marijuana overdose.

(Drug War Facts)

Among a plethora of substance abuse deaths, there still hasn’t been a single case recorded in the US in which a person died due to marijuana overdose.

36. It is practically impossible to die from a marijuana overdose.


According to the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration marijuana deaths statistics, one would have to take 40,000 times more marijuana in order to die from it.

This equals consuming 1,500 pounds of marijuana within 15 minutes or smoking between 20,000 and 40,000 above average size joints in 20 minutes.

Marijuana Business Statistics

37. The global cannabis market should reach $43 billion in 2024.

(BDS Analytics)

Global cannabis sales experienced a 48% growth in 2019, reaching the figure of amazing $15 billion.

States and countries where only medical cannabis is legalized are responsible for the increase — not the recreational market!

38. Legal sales of cannabis are estimated to enlarge by 200% in the US.

(Marijuana Business Daily)

The figure regards the 5 years’ period between 2017 and 2022. Pretty impressive marijuana business statistics, aren’t they?

At the moment, the demand for cannabis (including the black market) is $55 billion. That’s still much less than beer ($111.08 billion) and cigarettes ($80.3 billion). Nevertheless, the cannabis industry is growing much faster, especially the CBD industry.

39. $326 is the average price for 1oz of high-quality marijuana.

(The Spectrum)

If you wish to enjoy a decent joint, this is how much you should have with you.

40. The most expensive marijuana is sold in the District of Columbia.


For 1 ounce of pleasure or medicine, you will have to pay $596 on average.

The next in line and with a much lower price is Illinois, with a price of $353 for an ounce. Connecticut ranks third with $333.

41. According to marijuana statistics from 2017, sales of medical marijuana were larger than sales of Oreo cookies.

(Green Entrepreneur)

In 2017, medical and recreational marijuana sales were almost 9 times bigger than the sales of renowned cookie brand. By now, they may have even surpassed McDonald’s.

42. Americans spend around $40 billion on marijuana every year.


And will most probably continue to spend even more on legal and illegal marijuana. Due to making marijuana more accessible and it becoming a health and wellness trend, we can expect statistics about marijuana to show us a much higher figure in the not so distant future.

43. The global marijuana market showed an increase of 37% in 2017. 


If you are unsure which business to invest in this year to achieve great revenues, marijuana business may just be the one for you. Check the stocks and shares of the biggest marijuana companies worldwide and invest in your future.

44. The marijuana industry earned $13.8 billion in 2018, which is almost 4 times more than in 2017.


Marijuana statistics undoubtedly keep proving this is a real billionaire industry. The sales were a “mere” $9 billion in 2017, but it still equaled the annual revenue of the renowned diapers brand Pampers, or the total snack bar industry.


Marijuana is no longer reserved for hush-hush talks, but informed, open discussions – no matter if you are a cannabis supporter or not.

On the one hand, federal law does not make a difference between marijuana and LSD, and marijuana possession arrests are still very frequent (especially for a certain part of the population).

On the other, marijuana facts supporting its health benefits helped turn it into a prescribed medicine besides being a relaxation aid.

Nevertheless, recreational or not, marijuana usage is not to be taken lightly. The attitude towards marijuana is changing on the federal level as you are reading this so we can expect some more exciting stats to arrive at our pages soon enough.

Without a doubt, marijuana statistics will continue to amaze and shock us, so stay tuned!

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