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Are More People Getting High in Quarantine?

Is everyone getting high without you? It’s not just paranoia.

Since Los Angeles enacted its Safer at Home measures in March, anxiety has been at an all-time high and many are turning to weed. According to a survey by AmericanMarijuana.org, 3 in 10 are smoking more weed than before the pandemic hit.

“It’s conducive to isolation, and it turns off the sensory overload from the news right now,” Mishka Ashbel, co-owner of the MMD Dispensary, told The New Yorker. The one thing he cautions customers against is social smoking or “passing the doob around.”

According to a report by the Census Bureau, people under the age of 40 are reporting the highest increase in anxiety. Respondents aged 18 to 29 reported the greatest increase in stress with 42 percent reporting anxiety. The 30 to 39 age group is a close second with 34 percent of respondents reporting anxiety.

Those under 40 (and 21 or older) are also most likely to partake in recreational cannabis which has been legal in California since 2016. Thanks to Los Angeles’ liberal leaders, cannabis dispensaries (the only legal way to buy weed) were earmarked as essential businesses and allowed to remain open when other retail businesses closed.

Chris Beals, the C.E.O. of Weedmaps, told The New York Times that many of the company’s March customers were “working from home, dealing with the stresses of COVID.” Beales added that edibles are also a popular option since they’re discreet and don’t leave a telltale marijuana smell.

It’s worth noting that COVID-19 is a lung disease so smoking, vaping, or using e-cigarettes can put people at greater risk for more serious illness. Reported symptoms range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can be more acute in people with compromised lung health, chronic lung disease, and moderate to severe asthma, especially those who smoke or vape tobacco or marijuana.

In response to this, cannabis users are finding other ways to get high. About one-third of participants say they’ve switched from smoking or vaping to other forms of cannabis consumption like edibles, according to a survey by American Marijuana.org.

Similarly, a report published by Quartz, edible sales got a huge boost in March. Kiva Confections, which sells infused gummies and chocolates, reported a 33 percent jump in week-on-week sales during the last week of March.

In addition to safely visiting dispensaries in-person, Angelenos can choose from a variety of cannabis delivery services without having to leave the house or put on pants.

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