marijuana consumption in america
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

What Percentage Of Americans Have Tried Marijuana?

marijuana consumption in americaI have been a marijuana consumer for over two decades now. Almost everyone I know has tried marijuana at one point or another in their lives, especially people my age. That’s not to say that everyone I know is public about their current or prior marijuana consumption, but that also doesn’t mean that they are ashamed of it either. Gallup recently conducted a poll which found that 44% of Americans have tried marijuana. Per Gallup:

As Oregon becomes the fourth state to make recreational marijuana use legal, 44% of Americans say they have tried marijuana. This is the highest percentage Gallup has found since it began asking the question in 1969. Back then, a mere 4% admitted to having tried it.

These data are based on a July 8-12 Gallup poll, which came on the heels of the latest victory for pro-marijuana legalization advocates when, on July 1, Oregon joined Colorado, Alaska, Washington and the District of Columbia in making recreational use legal.

Each time Gallup has polled on the question, Americans have become at least marginally more likely to say they have tried smoking pot, including a six-percentage-point increase in the latest poll. The changes over time may reflect either an increase in the percentage who have tried the drug, or an increased willingness to admit to having done so in the past. The latter possibility certainly seems plausible given Americans’ growing support for legalizing marijuana in recent decades.

A separate question asks Americans more directly if they smoke marijuana now. Slightly more than one in 10 Americans (11%) say they do, up from 7% in 2013, although the shift is also within the poll’s margin of error.

In comparison, a separate question in the poll finds 19% of Americans say they smoke cigarettes.

I think the rise in the survey results are due to both more people trying marijuana lately, and more people willing to admit that they have tried marijuana due to changes in social perceptions. For a very long time marijuana was considered to be very taboo, and even talking about it was frowned upon. Now that marijuana legalization is spreading across America with every election, people are more willing to admit that they have done it, and are likely more willing to try marijuana if they haven’t because they don’t think there’s anything seriously wrong with it, nor should they.

  • Bongstar420

    People will report what ever they think they want to report….

    This is why asking them questions is pointless since they tend to tell you what they think you want to hear vs the actual fact of the matter.

  • AFreedomFighter88

    All the data from the Center for Disease Control clearly supports cannabis legalization. It is absolutely clear that cannabis is safer than the legal serial killer alternatives tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs which kill over 650,000 US citizens annually. Nothing the least bit complicated or hard to understand about these statistics taken directly from the CDC dot gov web site:
    Numbers of deaths per year in the USA
    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5,000 traffic fatalities
    * Tobacco: 390,323
    * Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
    * Cocaine: 4,906
    * Heroin: 3,365
    * Aspirin: 466
    * Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
    * Marijuana: 0, none, not a single fatal overdose in all medical history and almost no traffic problems
    So, which is safer?
    Stop the lies and Legalize!

    • luke walsh

      All the facts on why all drugs should be legalized,especially marijuana.its a joke that alcohol,cigarettes,and prescriptions drugs kill the most people and they are all legal. I’ve had crack and heroin issues but I still think it should be legalized .look at the facts,treat addiction as a mental health problem,and quit treating addicts like criminals.itll pay off in the long run

  • Legalize it Idaho

    Fuck they are not going to exactly know till they ask every individual and even then how many people are still under the bed about using. Fuck the government legalize it

  • Wow, according to that final statistic, the number of cannabis smokers is more than half of the number of cigarette smokers.

  • Karen Ferguson

    I ponder: would I tell the truth about using cannabis on a survey/poll? I would now, but at the beginning of my search? Don’t know. But no matter…this is good news. My passion for the leaf as medicine etc etc..is so strong that I can’t help myself from talking about it. I swear…it’s like an out-of-body experience sometimes. I hear myself talking, trying not to talk fast and thinking…”am I really saying this to this woman I barely know??” Yup.

    I loiter around being cognizant of the politics of medicine. I want to help empower others to understand it, too, in order to make better life choices when it comes to health and well-being. Currently, my favorite dispensary ad in Culture Magazine states “The Pharmaceutical Industry Does Not Create Cures….They Create Customers.” I read it 2 months ago or so and I’m still diggin’ on’ the fact that some dispensary ‘gets it’ on a larger scale: I know it’s not the only one.

    Some of the baby-boomers forgot about leaf, some never had the chance and they are all coming back. That’s my vision, anyway. And, one reason is because of the direct result of side effects of SSRIs [Paxil] and Benzodiazapenes [Valium]. My fantasy is that this population does NOT want to go into their mid-60’s poppin’ pills. There are probably a dozen pills more but I’m researching these two categories of psycho-pharma drugs. Maybe the meds aren’t needed, maybe they didn’t in the first place, or now they want to try something w/o side effects because they’ve read about it. Whatever the reason, I want to be there with a friendly face, welcoming nature and good info.

    • JohnB

      This Baby Boomer can attest to the fact that many of us who may have quit for long periods of time – multiple decades – are now seeing no reason to deny themselves the pleasure or relief they get from cannabis.
      Quite a few have gotten to the point where they say, hey, I’m 50-something (or 60-something), and I’ve raised my kids, climbed the corporate ladder, done all the things that “society” demands, and now by God I’m going to enjoy myself.
      Nearly all of my peers smoke now, or did in the past, or at the very least support re-legalization. The poll number is probably low due to reluctance to admit, to a stranger on the phone, breaking the law.

      • Karen Ferguson

        Yay!!!

  • luke walsh

    Weed isn’t harmless,but it kills virtually no one,and is not addictive like other drugs.plain and simple its way safer than alcohol and everything else.look at the facts you stupid politicians and do what the people want.legalize!,the ultimate goal should be legalizing all drugs.starting with weed would be something