A new study has found that Twitter loves weed. **Cue shocked reaction from no one.**
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis gathered 7.6 million weed-related tweets over one month and analyzed a sampling of 7,000 selected from user accounts with more than 775 followers or a Klout score of 44 or higher (which measures social media influence on a scale of 1-100). They found there were 15 times as many pro-pot tweets sent as anti-pot tweets.
Of the 7,000 analyzed tweets, 77% were pro-pot or expressed support for decriminalization or legalization, 18% were neutral, and a mere 5% were anti-marijuana. To track the tweets, researches conducted computer searches using terms such as joint, blunt, weed, stoner, and bong, excluding phrases like “Emily Blunt” and “beer bong” for clarity.
Both pro- and anti-pot tweets were broken down into different themes. Of the majority pro-pot tweets, 32% expressed a craving for or the intent to use marijuana and 13% expressed opinions on marijuana reform. Other themes included stress relief, the relation of weed to sex or attractiveness, and the use of drugs by celebrities (read: Miley Cyrus). Of the anti-pot tweets, 26% were about marijuana users being unproductive losers, and 22% claimed that those who use marijuana were unattractive or gross.
Most users sending or receiving weed tweets were under the age of 25, which is appropriate since both weed and Twitter are traditionally a younger man’s game.
While some have expressed fear that pro-pot tweets will “peer pressure” young people to start using marijuana, the only final conclusion the study was able to draw was that “Twitter is a social media platform that facilitates chatter about marijuana.”