This Ohio County Has The Most Marijuana Smokers! You Won’t Believe This!


Ohio just joined the ranks of states that have legalized recreational marijuana, but cannabis consumption in its counties differs. According to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) survey, Athens County has a high percentage of marijuana users. In this discussion, we will look at why Athens County has the highest level of cannabis usage in Ohio, as well as the ramifications for the county and the state.

The Numbers

Based on SAMHSA statistics from 2018 to 2020, Athens County had the highest rate of marijuana use among adults aged 18 and up, with 23.9% reporting use in the previous year. This figure is more than double the state average of 11.4% and above the national average of 18.1%. Furthermore, Athens County has the highest rate of marijuana use disorder, with 5.4% of persons matching the criteria, against 2.3% statewide and 2.8% nationally.

The Reasons

Several variables contribute to Athens County’s high cannabis consumption:

  • College Town: Athens County, home to Ohio University, has a large student population that is known to consume marijuana for a variety of reasons, including recreational and academic.
  • Liberal Politics: Athens County’s progressive posture, as evidenced by efforts such as decriminalizing marijuana possession and advocating for legalization, supports a cannabis-friendly atmosphere.
  • Rural Setting: Athens County’s rural terrain, located in southeastern Ohio’s Appalachian region, may contribute to increased marijuana use, as rural areas often have higher consumption rates.

The implications

The prevalence of marijuana use in Athens County has both positive and negative consequences:

  1. Economic benefits: Legalization might boost the county’s economy by increasing tax income, creating job possibilities, and promoting cannabis-related tourism, potentially establishing a local business.
  2. Public Health dangers: However, excessive cannabis consumption poses public health dangers such as impaired driving, accidental ingesting, mental health issues, and addiction. Regulating and implementing marijuana legislation creates obstacles, such as avoiding underage usage and maintaining product safety.

Read More: Three Ohio Hometowns Among The Worst ‘Small Cities In America’


As Ohio’s recreational marijuana program takes shape, Athens County’s standing as a prominent cannabis consumer provides important insights into the effects of legalization. The county serves as a microcosm, demonstrating the positives and drawbacks of marijuana legalization while also affecting state discussions and legislation.

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