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Why More Americans are Getting High This 4th of July

By Danyal Swan June 19, 2024
Cannabis and 4th of July

As more Americans opt for cannabis over traditional de-stressors like alcohol, its appeal is not just in its calming effects but also its reduced health risks. For many, cannabis is becoming a preferred alternative to alcohol, a trend that's growing among those who prioritize wellness.

The intertwining of cannabis and the 4th of July celebrations seems natural, especially when considering the historical significance of hemp in America's foundation. Let's explore the rich patriotic history of hemp and its enduring impact on the nation.

The Patriotic History of Hemp

This might come as a surprise, but the hemp plant has a deep-rooted history within the foundation of the United States. Here are five ways that hemp has played an integral role in the forming and continued growth of the United States: 


Hemp seeds were brought over in the early 1600s from England for farmers to grow. The plant itself has as many uses - if not more - as cotton, as it is used for the production of sails, ropes, clothing, and various other textile products. There was even a time when hemp plant leaves were accepted as a legal form of tender if someone didn’t have paper currency on them, as paper money was rare in the early founding of our nation. 

Drafts and Fabric 

The original parchment used for the Declaration of Independence was created from animal skins, but the two drafts that came before it were written on hemp parchment. In fact, hemp paper has been used since 150 BC and was one of the most used sources of parchment in the early foundation of the country. Fabric was also made out of the plant, out of which almost all of the earliest American flags were made. 

Presidential Crop 

Many of the founding fathers actually grew hemp plants, although it’s unknown whether they consumed them by smoking or orally, or if they even know of the properties of THC. Virtually every part of the plant can be used, which is an extremely rare feature that makes the industrialized crop perfect for almost any farmer to invest in, our country’s founders included. 


During WWII, the country’s citizens abandoned everything to help the war efforts. It might seem a little dramatic to us now, but back then everything and everyone was supporting the war efforts. People would even have to take turns going to fill up gas only one day out of the week based on the number of the license plate on your car. Food was rationed and many jobs were supporting the industrialization of the country. The government eventually pleaded to farmers to plant more hemp for their soldiers, using slogans like “Hemp for Victory” as a rallying call. Clothes, blankets, tents, flags, oil, and many other products needed to support the war effort required more of the plant to be grown. 

Cannabis as an Alternative to Alcohol

Compared to alcohol, marijuana is a safer, healthier, and non-addictive source for anti-depressive effects. Long-term health risks are an added risk in long-term or heavy consumption of alcohol, including: 

  • Liver disease 
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Stomach and digestive issues 
  • Central nervous system damage 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Infertility 

More than just these long-term effects, it’s also an addictive substance. Overcoming alcohol addiction is extremely challenging, and withdrawal can be life-threatening. Cannabis, on the other hand, has shown to be non-addictive (with the exception of mental dependence), with little to no long-term effects - though more research is needed, particularly when comparing the number of studies on alcohol vs. cannabis. 

A growing number of Americans are opting for cannabis over alcohol, with 67% of them considering it a healthier alternative, according to research by BDSA. Furthermore, 57% feel that cannabis impairs them less compared to alcohol. 

In a CivicScience survey from January 2023, 21% of participants used cannabis or CBD during Dry January instead of alcohol. A separate study at a Berkley, CA medical cannabis dispensary found that 40% of people used cannabis as an alcohol substitute. This survey also revealed that 26% used it instead of illegal drugs, and 66% used it to replace prescription medications. 

Canadian medical cannabis patients also reported significant shifts in their alcohol consumption, as per a detailed survey published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. Key findings include 44% of respondents reducing their alcohol use over the last month, 34% cutting down on weekly alcohol consumption, and 8% abstaining completely in the 30 days prior to the survey. The study notes that younger individuals under 55, or those who drank more previously, were more likely to decrease their alcohol intake if they intended to use medical cannabis for this purpose. 

These insights suggest that cannabis might play a role in reducing or even stopping alcohol use among its users. 

Top Cannabis Picks for Your 4th of July Celebrations

If you're seeking a spirited lift this Independence Day, consider these standout cannabis products:

Cannabis Flower

Enjoy the outdoors this summer with top strains like Cake Crashers for a burst of creativity and French Toast for a smooth, happy high. Don't miss Minty Blizzard for a refreshing, energizing experience.

Marijuana Vapes

For discretion and quick effects, explore our range of vapes from Essence Nectar to Sweet Supply Dart Pods, perfect for any festive occasion.

Cannabis Edibles

Ideal for a 4th of July BBQ, our selection of edibles from Essence Nectar Soft Chews to MÜV Chocolates offers delicious flavors and a variety of effects tailored to enhance your holiday.

Celebrating Cannabis this 4th of July

As cannabis becomes a staple in 4th of July festivities across increasingly more states, its role in enhancing our collective well-being is clear – and worth celebrating. Discover the ideal cannabis products for a memorable Independence Day at your local Zen Leaf Dispensary.


  1. Sober Curious Nation: One in Three Americans are Trying to Drink Less Alcohol in 2023 (2023). NCSolutions. ncsolutions.com/the-goods/sober-curious-nation-alcohol-survey/. Accessed April 17, 2024. 
  1. Ninety Percent of Gen Z Dry January Participants Are Leaning on Other Drinks and Substances to Fill the Void (2023). CivicScience. https://civicscience.com/ninety-percent-of-gen-z-dry-january-participants-are-leaning-on-other-drinks-and-substances-to-fill-the-void/. Accessed April 17, 2024. 

Digital Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.

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