Washington state smokes about twice the amount of marijuana than previously thought, a new study claims.
Federal data and survey information compiled by the Rand corporation puts yearly marijuana use in Washington state in the range of 135 metric tons to 225 metric tons during 2013, with 175 metric tons as the median estimate.
The Washington Office of Financial Management's assessment put state-wide use at 85 metric tons for 2013, but that estimate was based on federal data from 2008 and 2009.
Time reports that the difference in the estimates "very roughly" amounts to the difference between about 25 and 50 joints per resident each year.
The study was conducted in an effort to help the state's liquor control board prepare for the commercial sale of marijuana, which is scheduled to begin in 2014.
“You need to have a good idea about consumption to make decisions about licensing, how many distributors to allow, how many retail shops,” Beau Kilmer, the lead researcher on the project said, according to Time. “It’s important to have this information now, because people will want to know what the world looked like before the stores opened up.”
The median estimate of 175 metric tons of marijuana used amounts to more than 6 million ounces, enough for around 340 million joints, according to the Associated Press.
Washington state legalized marijuana in December of 2012.
On Dec. 6 of this year, crowds gathered under the Space Needle in Seattle to commemorate the anniversary of legalization with a city-sanctioned pot party, KOMO News reported.
"If we were all in Texas, we'd be arrested and charged with felonies," resident Jay Zozh said as the crowd passed around a footlong joint, according to the station.