At the time of writing, Trump’s first State of the Union speech just took place, and the Doomsday Clock – symbolizing how close civilization is to a hypothetical catastrophe – is just two minutes to midnight, which harkens back to the early days of the famously worrisome Cold War.
In completely unrelated news, Quartz has happened upon a list of the most stoned cities in the world. Specifically, as tracked by Seedo – an Israeli firm that sells hydroponic, weed-cultivating devices for your very own home – there exists a list of cities that are ranked in order of their total consumption (in tons) of cannabis.
What a time to be alive.
Before we dive into the list itself, it may strike you as curious that such a firm has access to such numbers, particularly when it comes to total consumption. After all, in much of the world, cannabis is either partially or entirely outlawed, which means its sale and distribution aren’t regulated. You’d think that because of this, such concrete numbers related to consumption would be hard to come by.
As it turns out, you can get somewhat rigid estimates of this. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which appropriately describes itself as a “global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime,” releases a report each year surmising the current situation. The last, back in 2017, comes in an unexpectedly beautifully packed five-booklet form.
From specific drug use numbers and trafficking statistics to associated crime figures and possible mitigating measures, it’s all there. That’s where Seedo’s getting their data from, along with a few assumptions – one “joint”, for example, is assumed to have 0.66 grams of weed in it.
Putting this all together, they’ve come up with their list. So, let’s take a look, shall we?
The top ten cities in order of total consumption (tons) per year are as follows:
1 – New York (77.44)
2 – Karachi (41.95)
3 – New Delhi (38.26)
4 – Los Angeles (36.06)
5 – Cairo (32.59)
6 – Mumbai (32.38)
7 – London (31.40)
8 – Chicago (24.54)
9 – Moscow (22.87)
10 – Toronto (22.75)
Taking the last three places in this list of 120 cities were Kyoto (0.24), Santo Domingo (0.16), and Singapore (0.02). Some other interesting curiosities include the place where weed is most expensive per gram ($32.66 in Tokyo, where it’s illegal) and the least expensive ($1.34 in Quito, where it’s partially legal).
The research also includes some interesting calculations regarding tax, believe it or not. In some US states, like Colorado, you can get legalized marijuana for recreational use, as well as medicinal, and like every other thing you buy, it’s taxed.
Using an average marijuana tax rate, Seedo have taken their total consumption numbers and worked out how much each city could get in taxes if it was legalized. New York City, for example, could make $156.4 million per annum – hypothetically, of course.