When it comes to the shifting attitude in marijuana use it is interesting to take a look at how legalization has affected it thus far. It should come as no surprise that after a couple of states legalized that there would be more people open to trying cannabis for the first time – which would likely lead to an increase in the number of people who consumed marijuana on a regular basis. Gallup has been polling on these issues for decades and they have brought us the latest updates.
We already found out last March that approval for legalizing marijuana outright was polling at 61%, up from only a few months earlier and way up when compared to years in the past. Now we’re finding out that 13% of Americans say they smoke marijuana regularly – which is nearly double the 7% from 2013, right after Colorado and Washington legalized the herb. Of those who answered the survey they also found that 43% admit to having tried marijuana at least once – which is up from 38% in 2013.
These questions have been asked of Americans since the 1960s. Back then, the number of Americans who admitting to having even tried smoking marijuana was a mere 4%. The stigma attached to smoking marijuana is starting to fade these days as stoners lead the revolution to legalize cannabis and create a friendly, yet competitive and creative industry – and this has likely led many to at least give it a shot if they had been skeptical.
This survey polled 1,023 individuals that were randomly selected from across the United States – and it appeared that those living in western states (in or nearer to those which have already legalized) are more ready to admit to present use of marijuana. The individuals being polled were informed that their information and answers would remain confidential – however, I personally know quite a few people who would not admit to marijuana use over the phone, confidential or not.
We have to consider the fact that the 13% figure may still be low (and the increase may not be entirely due to new users). Either way, the number is increasing a little more each year, and in only three years it has nearly doubled. Cannabis is becoming more of a common substance than ever before, mostly due to the fact that it is safer than almost any substance – and these polls are starting to – and one day will – capture a true idea of just how many Americans consume marijuana regularly.