Alaska 19, a state with more than 2.2 million residents, has the highest percentage of residents who say they use medical marijuana, according to the Gallup Health Tracking survey released Thursday.
Alaska has nearly one in five residents who have used marijuana in the past year.
The state has some of the lowest rates of marijuana use among states surveyed.
Alaska’s highest rate of marijuana consumption is in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where just one in four residents say they’ve used marijuana.
The median age of marijuana users in Alaska is 37, according the survey.
Alaska 19’s highest use rate is among 18- to 29-year-olds, followed by those 30 to 49, 50 to 64 and 65 and older.
Marijuana is the second most commonly used illicit drug in Alaska, behind heroin, according Gallup.
The survey found that a quarter of Alaska residents believe they’ve had a positive drug test since they became adults.
“I think that’s pretty common,” said Mark Krikorian, a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who studies drug use.
“A lot of times, the person that’s tested positive, that’s the first person to call, and it’s the person you’ve known and trusted for a long time.
So they’re not going to say ‘I’ve been clean, I’ve never been in trouble, I just don’t use drugs.’
They may not use marijuana at all, but it’s still a very common occurrence.”
About 6 in 10 Alaska residents say marijuana should be legalized, according in the survey, while about half think it should be restricted.
“What I found really interesting was how strongly they thought that this should be done, and how strongly the state government was against it,” Krikorians said.
“That was interesting to me.
I didn’t expect it to be this strong of a trend, but to see that it was a consensus opinion among the people who were surveyed.”