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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Marijuana
  • Social media
  • Youth


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