A new poll shows that Americans have been using more and more cannabis over the years. In fact, the poll, conducted by Gallup since the 1970s, reveals that 1 in 10 Americans actively smoke cannabis today and that almost half of them have at least tried it.
For decades, the number of cannabis users has stayed steady at 30%. As cannabis has earned legal status in a variety of states, the numbers have risen, with an average of 49% of respondents answering “yes” when asked if they’d ever tried marijuana, according to this most recent poll.
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A deeper look at the study finds that while more people have experimented with marijuana, consistent cannabis use has remained steady over the years. Twelve percent of respondents said they currently smoke cannabis, the same result as the previous year’s survey. It also revealed details about the demographics of people who’ve tried marijuana at least once. Half of Millennials said they’d tried cannabis between 2015-2021, with Gen X and Baby Boomers coming in at 49% and 50% respectively.
The biggest differences appear when discussing the number of active users. Millennials are the demographic most likely to say they’re active users, with 20%, followed by GenXers (11%) and Baby Boomers (9%).
“The percentage of Americans who have tried marijuana has steadily climbed in recent decades,” said Gallup. “Soon it should reach 50%, but it may not get much higher than that given the rates of experimentation have been steady around 50% in Gen Xers and among baby boomers. Half of millennials have also tried marijuana, and with many in that group approaching middle age, that proportion seems unlikely to increase in future years. Gen Z’s incidence of trying marijuana will likely determine the trajectory of the trendline.”
Another interesting discovery made by the poll is that people don’t need to be cannabis users in order to support its legalization. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they favored the legalization of the drug, marking it the highest percentage in the poll’s history.
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While there are certain caveats in the poll — like the fact that they refer to cannabis consumption as “smoking,” possibly alienating consumers — it does paint a picture about how cannabis use is evolving and losing some of its stereotypes and misconceptions.