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Gallup, the pollsters of national notoriety, recently published a report stating only 49 percent of adults in the United States have copped to consuming cannabis. That feels really low to me.

And I was not alone — both my editor and my wife were also left scratching their heads. My wife and I thought we’d heard somewhere that the percentage of those who had admitted to trying marijuana was upwards of 70 percent by now. But then again, I'm a pothead and probably was confusing that figure with the 86 percent who now recognize the medical legitimacy of cannabis.

Sorry, Gallup, but looking at Colorado alone, I am not quite sure those numbers add up. In my last blog post, I wrote about marijuana tax revenues in Colorado. I learned via a chart on marijuana tax revenue in the state budget that there were an estimated 725,000 marijuana users in Colorado during the fiscal year 2018/2019 (presumably a number based solely on those purchasing the marijuana, given that it was derived from sales tax revenues).

These numbers don't necessarily account for all of those who use the product once purchased.

I see it breaking down like this: According to Census data, Colorado's population in 2019 was an estimated 5.7 million people. But you then must subtract those persons under the age of 18 that year, so we end up with about 4.4ish million residents of legal consumption age. That fits nicely within the estimated 2,148,994 households occupied in Colorado, with an average of 2.56 occupants per household, as further reported by the Census.

If we follow the assumption — that many of those 725,000 buyers (especially if they are rec users) are not likely buying to consume cannabis alone — then the number of current tokers in the Colorado cannabis community would climb higher. But how much higher?

We obviously get a more elevated number if just half of those 725,000 buyers were sharing with a few other people regularly, like a partner or roommates (and given the average household contains at least two and half occupants, and that marijuana consumption is often viewed as a social activity, that also seems to be a reasonable deduction). And one has to assume there are people trying cannabis for the first time every day. And how many people have moved to Colorado just because of the cannabis? And what about the states that legalize marijuana in some form every election cycle?  

So, what does all this mean?

Does it mean I get overly analytical when I am high? Yes. I mean, I even did maths for this shiz. And that's not my bag at all! But it also means that there is probably still quite a stigma remaining for people who don't feel comfortable admitting to having used cannabis. Or that when Gallup calls and starts asking about marijuana use, paranoid potheads think “not today, DEA!” and adopt a more “mind-your-business” kind of attitude.

Whatever the case may be, methinks that we burners of bud are not as much of a minority in the population as Gallup would have one believe.