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J Adolesc Health. 2015 Feb;56(2):139-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.10.270.

Twitter chatter about marijuana.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. Electronic address: rehgp@psychiatry.wustl.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We sought to examine the sentiment and themes of marijuana-related chatter on Twitter sent by influential Twitter users and to describe the demographics of these Twitter users.

METHODS:

We assessed the sentiment and themes of a random sample (n = 7,000) of influential marijuana-related tweets (sent from February 5, 20114, to March 5, 2014). Demographics of the users tweeting about marijuana were inferred using a social media analytics company (Demographics Pro for Twitter).

RESULTS:

Most marijuana-related tweets reflected a positive sentiment toward marijuana use, with pro-marijuana tweets outnumbering anti-marijuana tweets by a factor of greater than 15. The most common theme of pro-marijuana tweets included the Tweeter stating that he/she wants/plans to use marijuana, followed by tweeting about frequent/heavy/or regular marijuana use, and that marijuana has health benefits and/or should be legalized. Tweeters of marijuana-related content were younger and a greater proportion was African-American compared with the Twitter average.

CONCLUSIONS:

Marijuana Twitter chatter sent by influential Twitter users tends to be pro-marijuana and popular among African-Americans and youth/young adults. Marijuana-related harms may afflict some individuals; therefore, our findings should be used to inform online and offline prevention efforts that work to target individuals who are most at risk for harms associated with marijuana use.

KEYWORDS:

Marijuana; Social media; Youth

PMID:
25620299
PMCID:
PMC4306811
DOI:
10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.10.270
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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