Nearly half of Americans have tried cannabis, according to reports from a Gallup poll, and more than one in ten say they actively smoke marijuana. The research institution has been surveying people about trying cannabis since the early 1970s, and for decades the percentage of Americans who said they’ve done so remained in the 30 percent range. That’s changed drastically in recent years as more states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use and public sentiment on the issue has shifted.
The most recent results from Gallup’s July 5-9 poll on Americans’ consumption habits found that “45% of Americans say they have tried marijuana at least once.” When Gallup asked the question back in 1969, only 4% said they had tried marijuana. The rise in use over the past five decades has paralleled the increasing support for legalization – last year, a record 60% said marijuana should be legal.
The increase in the percentage who have twisted some rolling papers comes amid a possible federal crackdown on legal marijuana, according to Gallup. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has initiated a task force studying links between violent crime and marijuana, and this body will reportedly release its findings by the end of July. The attorney general also has asked congressional leaders to undo restrictions on prosecuting medical marijuana providers, citing a ‘historic drug epidemic.'” Interestingly enough, while experimentation has increased, according to the poll, active use has stayed pretty much the same.
12% of respondents said they currently smoke marijuana – which is the same result as Gallup’s 2019 survey and one percent lower than in 2013. Gallup also pointed out that cigarette smoking is still high at 17%, but current cannabis indulgence is about as high as it has been in the past. If more states legalize the plant, regular usage – or at least experimenting with cannabis – could climb. It’s evident that marijuana use is becoming more socially acceptable as cannabis legalization becomes more prevalent throughout the nation.