Exactly 50% of America Has Tried Pot, Gallup Finds

Half the country has tried marijuana, according to newly released polling data from Gallup.

The 50% who say they have tried pot at some point in their lives represents a “new high point for this behavior that has been inching up over the past quarter century,” Gallup says.

“While essentially unchanged from the 49% and 48% readings in 2021 and 2022, respectively, the new figure is statistically higher than the 45% in 2017 and 2019 who said they had tried marijuana,” Gallup said in its analysis. “In answer to a separate question intended to measure current behavior, about one in six Americans (17%) say they ‘smoke marijuana.’ This is also a new high in Gallup’s trend since 2003, albeit similar to the 16% recorded a year ago.”

Gallup said that across “nearly all gender, age and education groups, roughly half of U.S. adults have experimented with marijuana, according to aggregated data from 2022 and 2023,” although there “is more differentiation by party, with majorities of Democrats (57%) and independents (52%) saying they have tried it, versus 39% of Republicans.”

The findings, part of Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits survey, were compiled July 3-27.

Gallup, one of the country’s oldest pollsters, has been tracking Americans’ views toward cannabis for more than a half-century.

“The proportion of Americans who say they smoke marijuana has more than doubled since 2013, when Gallup first asked the question. That year, 7% said they did,” the pollster explained. “Gallup’s much longer trend on ever having tried marijuana shows that experimentation increased sharply in the first decade after the initial measure. Between 1969 and 1977, it jumped 20 percentage points, from 4% to 24%. It rose another nine points, to 33%, by 1985, but thereafter stalled at under 40% until 2015, when it ticked up to 44%. It remained at about that level through 2019 but then rose to 49% in 2021, roughly where it is today. Over that same period, Gallup recorded a significant increase in the U.S. public’s support for legalization of marijuana, which has grown from 12% in 1969 to 68% today.”

Last fall, Gallup found that a majority in virtually every demographic in the United States supported the legalization of cannabis in the country. The two groups for whom that wasn’t the case were conservatives aged 50 and older, and individuals who attend church every week. Overall, Gallup found that 68% of Americans support legalizing pot.

“While majorities of most major subgroups are in favor of legalizing marijuana, there are a few holdouts — namely, political conservatives and regular churchgoers. Small segments of the population (in particular, older conservatives) are still disinclined to think marijuana use should be legal. However, younger conservatives and younger moderates are more inclined than their older counterparts to think cannabis should be legal. As such, in future decades support for legalizing marijuana can be expected to continue to grow as newer, likely more pro-marijuana, generations replace older generations in the U.S. population,” Gallup wrote in that poll’s analysis.

Gallup’s data on past cannabis use showed a partisan gap.

“There is more differentiation by party, with majorities of Democrats (57%) and independents (52%) saying they have tried it, versus 39% of Republicans,” Gallup said. 

“Similar percentages of men and women say they use marijuana. Meanwhile, adults without a college degree are about twice as likely as college graduates to smoke it.”

The post Exactly 50% of America Has Tried Pot, Gallup Finds appeared first on High Times.


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