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Texas Near the Bottom in Marijuana Use

 
Posted August 12th, 2014 @ 1:51pm by Jim Forsyth, photo credit Shutterstock Images

As talk of legalization of marijuana spreads to Texas, the vast majority of Texans say we're good the way we are.

  The reason, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports, is that Texans generally don't smoke pot.

  A National Survey on Drug Use and Health, shows fewer than 3% of Texas adults say they have fired up a reefer in the past month, and even among teenagers, that figure is just 6%.

  Compare that to beer and liquor consumption.  Fully 52% of Texas adults say they have drank a beer or other alcoholic beverage in the past month, and nearly one quarter say they have gotten drunk during that period.

  So why do Texans 'just say no,' to marijuana?

  Nathan Jones of the Baker Institute at Rice University says you can credit a deep seated reverence for the law in the Texas culture.

  "The rule of law is very important here," he said.  "So marijuana is used very differently than alcohol."

  Jones says the fact that we don't think twice about popping a top of a can of beer, but we generally shy away from puffing on a doobie also says a lot about the state's culture, which, Willie Nelson notwithstanding, has long celebrated drinking over any type of drug use.

 "I do think that it is a drinking culture," Jones said.  "It is a culture that is very accepting of drinking and even of binge drinking, which is in many ways a type of drug abuse."

  Will the low levels of marijuana use in Texas affect efforts to get medical marijuana, or even recreational use of marijuana, legalized?  Jones isn't sure, but he does say the current culture encourages reckless behavior.

  "In term of marijuana over sobriety, you are about twice as likely to get into a car accident," Jones said.  "But, with alcohol, you are nine to twenty times more likely, according to one study quoted in the New York Times recently, to get into an accident."

 

 

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