Nearly half (43 percent) of adults in the United States admit to trying marijuana, and 13 percent — or roughly 1 in 8 — say they smoke weed on a regular basis. That’s about double the percentage of American adults who admitted to regularly using marijuana in 2013 (7 percent).
The marijuana use findings are part of a confidential consumption habits poll from Gallup. A similar poll in 1969 found that a mere 4 percent of adults admitted to trying pot.
But Gallup’s findings don’t necessarily mean that more adults are smoking weed today than back in the 1960s.
Now that cannabis is legal in some form (medical or recreational) in at least half of the U.S. — with recreational marijuana allowed for use in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia — some of the stigma attached to pot is gone. That means some people are likely more willing to admit to using cannabis today than they would have been in 1969. According to Gallup:
States’ willingness to legalize marijuana could be a reason for the uptick in the percentage of Americans who say they smoke marijuana, regardless of whether it is legal in their particular state. Gallup finds residents in the West — home of all four states that have legalized recreational marijuana use — are significantly more likely to say they smoke marijuana than those in other parts of the country.
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. But voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will decide in November whether to legalize it for recreational purposes in their respective states.
Gallup expects marijuana use will continue to grow in the future.
“Because a clear majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana and more states are considering it, it’s likely that use of and experimentation with marijuana will increase,” states the Gallup report.
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