The first time I saw proof of this was during the 2012 Attorney General race in Oregon. One of the biggest reasons that we defeated anti-marijuana candidate Dwight Holton (by a HUGE margin!) was because of social media. Dwight Holton was ahead in every poll by roughly 7 percent before we started a very strategic social media campaign. We used social media to bring a lot of eyeballs to articles covering the race, then pointed out the heavy traffic numbers to national media, and boom, all of a sudden the race was getting covered by major media outlets across the country. That nation media brought national dollars, and the rest is history.
Since that race marijuana supporters have become even more social media savvy, while marijuana opponents still barely know what they are doing. That is most apparent on Twitter, where marijuana opponents basically rely on Kevin Sabet to send out a couple of tweets a week, which are then thrashed and chopped up by an army of marijuana loving social media experts. Per ZME science:
"A computer program was developed that mined marijuana related tweets which contained keywords like “joint,” “blunt,” “weed,” “stoner” and “bong”. Some 7.6 million tweets related to pot were identified. To further refine the sample size, the team focused their analysis on Twitter accounts with more than 775 followers as well as accounts with Klout scores of 44 and above. A Klout score measures social media influence on a scale of 1-100.
A random sample of almost 7,000 tweets was selected and manually verified. It was found that 77 percent were pro marijuana, 5 percent were against pot, and 18 percent were neutral. People tweeting pro-marijuana messages had a total of more than 50 million Twitter followers, about 12 times more than those tweeting anti-marijuana messages."
One out of every 2,000 tweets is about marijuana. Tom Angell, who is one of the best when it comes to social media marijuana activism, and who was the first to break this story to the marijuana world, provided a chart breaking down the tweets, via Marijuana.Com: