Dear Stoner: Do Americans smoke way more herb than the rest of the world, or is there somewhere else I should be living?
Smoke Two Joints
Dear Two Joints: A staggering amount of Americans have smoked cannabis — we consume more than 18 million pounds of it annually, by some estimates — and about 14 million of us smoke it on the regular. According to government statistics, 24.1 percent of the residents of this country consume marijuana every year. Keep in mind, though, that this is based on the number of people who were willing to admit to using weed to a government-hired survey conductor.
But according to stats from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime compiled over the past ten years, there's one tiny island country where marijuana use is slightly more prevalent than in the United States: Palau, where 24.2 percent of residents indulge.
Never heard of it? Neither had we, but apparently this beautiful nation made up of more than 250 islands in the Pacific Ocean is in a prime location to grow primo cannabis, and a large number of the 21,000 residents like to partake. Make that par-toke. Although cannabis technically isn't legal on the island, Palau has become a major exporter to nearby nations like Papau New Guinea and even Australia.
As far as medical marijuana goes, though, you could easily make the argument that the United States is tops. We've got more than 1 million medical marijuana users across the twenty states that allow it. And while California may have the most, with more than 550,000 medical marijuana cardholders, Colorado has the highest (pun intended) concentration, with 21 patients for every 1,000 residents. Oregon and California trail behind, each with 14 patients for every 1,000 residents.
It's pretty safe to say that you're not going to run out of marijuana anytime soon if you live in Colorado — but we've begun debating the merits of island life ourselves lately. So nobody here at Ask a Stoner is going to blame you if you buy a one-way ticket with only flip-flops and surf shorts for your carry-on.
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Dear Stoner: I'm in the line at McDonald's. Should I get a vanilla or chocolate shake?
Holding Up the Line
Dear HL: Why the hell are you at McDonald's in the first place? Get over to Liks, Sweet Cow, Little Man or Bonnie Brae for some mango, birthday cake or pretzel ice cream. Time to venture beyond the two-flavor system, my munchies-driven friend.