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AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Wikipedia’s most controversial drug.
HIGH EXPERTISE

These are the drug capitals of the US, according to Wikipedia edits

By Alice Truong

Deputy editor

A lot happens behind the scenes at Wikipedia. As the seventh-most popular site in the world, editing wars on the crowdsourced encyclopedia can ultimately shape what internet users know about certain topics. The number of revisions of Wikipedia pages can also reveal a lot about cultural trends.

For instance, on a per-capita basis, San Francisco, the epicenter of the counterculture movement in the ’60s, leads the way when it comes to edits about ecstasy, LSD, and wine—Napa’s just a short car ride away. Meanwhile, residents of Des Moines, Iowa have contributed the most edits for ethanol, which makes sense since the state is the largest corn producer in the country.

And in Washington D.C., where authorities busted a major oxycodone (better known by the brand name OxyContin) ring last year, area residents submitted the most revisions for the drug.

Fractl, Addiction-treatment.com

“New data sources like this are always exciting to us, and when we looked at many of the edits, we realized that many were back and fourth fights over small details,” a representative at Addiction-Treatment.com, which conducted the study, told Quartz. ”This led to the realization that looking at the aggregate of these edits and where they happen most would give insight on where these topics are the most controversial.”

By far, the drug page that is most popular with editors has been cannabis. Marijuana is now legal for medical use in 23 states plus the District of Columbia, and for recreational use in three states (with a fourth coming soon). Until January 2015, the end date of the analysis, there were a total of 15,107 revisions of Wikipedia’s cannabis page. The next most controversial drugs, according to the firm, are methamphetamine and ecstasy. The list above shows the most heavily edited Wikipedia pages related to drugs and other vices.

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