Stress driving marijuana users toward stocking up during pandemic

As the global tally of people infected with the coronavirus keeps rising, anxiety about the pandemic has also increased.

In order to ease concerns sparked by COVID-19, some people have turned to weed, a sizable portion of which decided to stock up on product during shelter-in-place orders over the pandemic in the U.S.

According to a new survey, 49% of marijuana users stocked up on cannabis products during the virus outbreak, while 51% decided against buying larger quantities of pot.

The survey conducted by AmericanMarijuana.org revealed that a majority of people that did stock up on marijuana did so in order to relieve stress and anxiety, which may be aggravated by the escalating pandemic.

Aside from the 55% who said they purchased cannabis in bulk to calm themselves, a further 23% stocked up because of fears over COVID-19 as well as a fear of a marijuana shortage. 

Meanwhile, 17% of the 990 survey participants singled out smoking marijuana as their preferred pass-time during self-quarantine, in the event the U.S. imposes one.

Weed or face masks?

Although initially dismissive of enforcing a prolonged lockdown in the country, President Donald Trump did extend social distancing guidelines until the end of April as the number of infections in the U.S. approached 200,000 – the most in any country. 

Of those surveyed, 28% said that they chose to purchase marijuana instead of face masks, a common sight in most major cities since the pandemic began to explode in early March.

However, a majority of respondents said they would prefer buying food, masks, hand sanitizers and toilet paper rather than weed during the crisis. Interestingly, 5% did acknowledge they would rather buy weed than food. 

Marijuana dispensaries were declared essential businesses during partial lockdowns introduced in several U.S. states, a move advocates saw as a much-needed acknowledgment of the importance of cannabis to a lot of people. 

Some states have only exempted medical marijuana retailers from closures, including in Massachusetts, where marijuana advocates called on Governor Charlie Baker to grant all dispensaries essential status. 

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