Now Scientifically Proven: Twitter Loves Marijuana
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Twitter users are overwhelmingly pro-marijuana, and now it’s scientifically proven.
Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine analyzed every marijuana-related Twitter message sent during a one-month period in 2014. Their findings, published online last week in the Journal of Adolescent Health, reveal that within that time more than seven million tweets referenced marijuana.
According to their analysis, there were 15 times more pro-marijuana tweets than anti-marijuana tweets. Most of the pro-marijuana tweets were about “wants, needs or plans” to use marijuana, its benefits, and legalization. Most of the anti-marijuana tweets said people who smoke weed are “losers” and “unproductive,” and that smoking marijuana is “unattractive.”
The majority of people sending and receiving marijuana-related tweets were under age 25. Though concerned that most of the people tweeting about weed were relatively young, the researchers acknowledged that they “cannot verify the degree to which tweets correspond with marijuana use.”
Additionally, people posting pro-marijuana tweets had a total of more than 50 million Twitter followers, about 12 times more than those tweeting anti-marijuana messages. Currently there are 284 million monthly active users on Twitter, sending 500 million tweets daily, according to the company.
To further demonstrate the extent of pro-marijuana sentiment on Twitter, the researchers also focused their analysis on influential Twitter accounts, which is defined as having more than 775 followers and Klout scores above 44. Klout is a measure of social media influence on a scale of 1 to 100.
After examining a random sample of almost 7,000 tweets from such accounts, the researchers found that 77% were pro marijuana, 5% were against, and 18% were neutral.