Colorado has a below-average rate of tobacco consumption, scoring 14th best overall for the category. Only 17% of the state’s adults are smokers. Colorado, however, does not do as well with regards to drugs and alcohol. Nearly 6% of adults in the state engage in heavy drinking, the tenth-highest rate in the country. The state’s overall drug scores are the worst among our ten worst states. With a rate of marijuana consumption at more than 13% and the rate of usage of other illegal substances at nearly 5%, the state scores third-worst overall.
Oklahoma has the third highest rate of adult smokers in the country (25.5%). It also has the 3rd highest rate with regards to illicit drug use other than marijuana with a rate of 4.75%. Oklahoma has the 5th greatest rate of people subscribing to online pornography. It has the 2nd highest rate for overall gambling, and has the second most casinos in the country – 106. To the state’s credit, it has the 7th lowest rank with regards to heavy drinking. Only 2.8% of adults are heavy drinkers.
Click the Image for a Larger Graph of Marijuana Use by State
Alaska has only three major casinos, which is low compared to most and improves its rating. Otherwise, the state is one of the most vice-rich in the country. Alaska has the fifth-highest rate of drug use in the country, with the third highest rate of marijuana consumption – nearly 15% of adults reported using in a single year. The state also has the third-highest rate of alcohol consumption and the second-highest rate of pornography users per capita.
Wisconsin, home to Milwaukee, or “Brew City,” is big on drinking. It ranks the highest for drinking, meaning the people there on average drink the most. The state has the highest rate of binge drinking in the country. Although it did not affect the state’s ranking, Wisconsin has the highest rate of people driving under the influence of alcohol in the country. (Some blame these statistics on the fact that it is legal for someone under 21 to drink in a bar as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.) It also ranks 14th highest for illicit drug use.
Due mostly to the fact that it is home to America’s original city of sin, Las Vegas, Nevada easily earns its status as the country’s most vice-ridden state. Some may point to unruly outsiders being the source of the state’s sin rather than residents, but that is not the case. The state is ranked in the worst ten both for alcohol consumption and drug use among its population. It is Nevada’s enormous gambling industry, however, which solidifies its position. According to the American Gaming Association’s 2010 report, Nevada has 263 major casinos, easily more than twice that of the next highest state, Oklahoma, which has 106. Gamblers spend more than $10 billion each year in the state, and roughly 75% of the state’s GDP comes from the Las Vegas area.
-Michael B. Sauter, Charles B. Stockdale, Douglas A. McIntyre