It's New Year's Eve and everyone's doing the final countdown to end year. "Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Happy New Year!" Then usually someone pops open a bottle of champagne and everyone celebrates the new year by chugging a glass. But why aren't people ripping bongs instead?
A recent survey of marijuana users found that only 30 percent of them use cannabis to commemorate a special occasion, and only 34 percent consume it in social settings. In comparison, around 78 percent of adults use alcohol to commemorate special occasions and 79 percent drink in social settings. So why is that?
Part of it is definitely legal reasons. Obviously marijuana isn't legal throughout the United States, so it would be a little difficult for someone celebrating New Year's in Texas to pull out a bong right when the clock strikes midnight. But even in legal states, using cannabis in public spaces is forbidden. So if you're celebrating an event at a bar or some other venue, marijuana may be banned but there's no rules against alcohol.
There's also just the general stigma around cannabis. Marijuana is seen more as a thing people do when they're hanging out at home and just want to relax, not really seen as the thing people do to get amped and excited for a big celebration. And in general, humans have spent thousands of years celebrating events and holidays with alcohol. So even among marijuana users, it seems more "normal" to drink on special occasions.
Perhaps if states pass less strict rules governing social cannabis use, we'll see more marijuana being brought out for the holiday season. But it will probably never replace our beloved egg nog or champagne.