04.19.11

America's Pot-Smoking Capitals

Wednesday is 4/20, the day when marijuana enthusiasts light up and celebrate all things green. To mark the occasion, The Daily Beast again crunches the numbers to determine the 40 highest cities. Will Eureka win again?

Wednesday is 4/20, the day when marijuana enthusiasts light up and celebrate all things green. To mark the occasion, The Daily Beast again crunches the numbers to determine the 40 highest cities. Will Eureka win again? Plus, stars who smoke weed.

April 20 is the high holy day for marijuana smokers. College campuses and marijuana activists across the country toke in private, and public, to raise awareness for the legalization of a psychoactive that for some isn't just a drug—it's a way of life.

Of course, some cities show their 4/20 pride more than others. Boulder for instance, has an annual smoke-out at the University of Colorado that routinely draws about 15,000 people. Minneapolis has a six-hour 4/20 event sponsored by NORML, featuring six bands and four speakers.

Gallery: America's Pot-Smoking Capitals

But those aren't even close to the only cities with pot pride. Last year The Daily Beast ranked the nation's most stoned cities, and Eureka, California, landed in the top spot, while Newsweek released its own package on marijuana in America. This year, The Daily Beast again crunched the numbers to find out which communities rate highest for getting high. Many of the top 40 towns are home to large universities, where the habits of young students affect the overall atmosphere. Others are places known for strong support of marijuana legalization and taxation.

To compile the rankings, we started by looking at cities within metropolitan areas with at least 30,000 residents. We then considered statistical data as well as a subjective valuation of each city's pro-cannabis atmosphere:

• Sixty percent of our ranking was weighted based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, the most recent available, with estimates of the percentage of the population who used marijuana in the past month.
• Twenty percent derived from the most recent arrest data, based on marijuana possession and sale, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
• The final 20 percent was based on local pot culture, with assistance from CelebStoner.com publisher Steve Bloom, co-author of Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life and former editor of High Times, with a score of 1 being the least pot-friendly and 10 the most pot-friendly.
• Bonus: Communities with active chapters of NORML, or National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, received a 10 percent bonus.

Will Berkeley beat out Bozeman? Is Eureka still America's pot-smoking capital? Click here to find out which city stands highest on 4/20.