AUG 18, 2021 9:35 PM PDT

Half of Americans Have Tried Marijuana

WRITTEN BY: Angela Dowden

The latest Gallup poll to measure cannabis use across America shows that the percentage of U.S. adults who say they have ever tried marijuana is now close to half — 49 percent to be exact.

However, only 12 percent agreed with the statement that they smoked marijiana currently. People who currently used pot were much more likely to be younger — 20 percent of millennials smoked currently according to the Gallup survey. 

Surveys on marijuana usage began more than 50 years ago when just 4 percent of the U.S population said they had tried marijuana. Over the years this has risen — to more than 20 percent in 1977, 30 percent in 1985 and 40 percent in 2015.

In their report, using data from 2015-2021 Consumption Habits surveys, Gallup detailed how cannabis use is spread across age groups. They found that only the oldest people, born before 1945, were unlikely never to have tried marijauana (just 19 percent of this group, dubbed “traditionalists” had ever used the drug). Across the other generations — baby boomers, generation Xers and millennials — there had been similar levels of experimentation with the drug (50 percent, 49 percent, and 51 percent respectively).

The research also found differences by gender, religion, education, and political leaning.

More men smoked marijuana than women (men were around 1.8 times more likely to use the drug), while 22 percent of political liberals used marijuana compared with 6 percent of conservatives. Cannabis was consumed only around one-third as frequently in people with a postgraduate education, compared with a four-year college degree or less.

The Gallup poll couldn’t come up with reliable enough data for Generation Z as the oldest people in this age group are still only 24.

Sources: Gallup, US News

 

About the Author
  • I'm a journalist and author with many year's experience of writing for both a consumer and professional audience, mostly on nutrition, health and medical prescribing. My background is food science and I'm a registered nutritionist.
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