A nationwide poll shows that approximately 50% of Americans have tried marijuana at least once. The results of the poll confirmed what many cannabis industry observers have long known: that cannabis use is becoming more and more popular, particularly among younger adults. What does the increased acceptance of marijuana use mean for the future of marijuana legalization efforts? Keep reading this blog to learn more.
Gallup Poll: Roughly Half of All Americans Report Using Marijuana At Least Once
A recent poll conducted by Gallup, the company known for large-scale public opinion surveys, found that 49% of U.S. adults have used marijuana. The poll asked respondents whether they had “ever happened to try marijuana,” and nearly half of respondents answered “yes.”
Voters in several states passed marijuana legalization measures in the 2020 election, and additional states like New Mexico, New York, and Virginia have also legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2021. These new cannabis laws have passed at the same time that cannabis use has become more accepted, and the Gallup survey results are just another indication of how normalized and mainstream marijuana is these days. Whereas earlier versions of the Gallup poll found support for cannabis legalization holding steady at roughly 30%, there was a noticeable surge in support in the most recent poll.
The numbers also show a noticeable difference between young adults and older adults when it comes to marijuana use. While roughly 50% of Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers responded that they have “experimented” with marijuana, that number drops considerably to just 19% among people who were born before 1946. It is also worth noting that marijuana use by men (16%) is nearly twice as high as marijuana use by women (9%).
Regular Cannabis Use Also on Rise Among U.S. Adults
Although there are nearly as many people who have tried marijuana as those who have not, the number of individuals who “actively” smoke marijuana is significantly lower. According to the Gallup poll, 12% of adults in the United States use cannabis on a regular basis. However, this still represents an increase over earlier polls: in 2013, just 7% of Americans answered “yes” when asked if they routinely use cannabis. Additionally, Gallup observed that the percentage of American adults who admit to smoking marijuana in 2021 is nearly as high as the percentage of American adults who admit to smoking cigarettes.
It is also possible that some survey respondents answered “no” when asked whether they actively smoke cannabis because they use cannabis through alternative methods of consumption like vaping or cannabis edibles. Both of these methods have become very popular as consumers grow more sophisticated and educated about cannabis potency and THC levels.
Overwhelming Support for Legalization of Cannabis for Adult Use
The results of the 2021 Gallup poll match the results of a Gallup survey conducted in 2020. That earlier survey showed overwhelming support for cannabis reform measures to legalize marijuana for recreational use: 68% of respondents indicated that they were in favor of cannabis legalization, the highest number ever recorded. The disparity between cannabis use (roughly 50%) and support for cannabis legalization (68%) suggests that many Americans don’t need to have tried marijuana in order to back legalization efforts. It also bodes well for future attempts to legalize cannabis, particularly as more states look to either put cannabis reform measures on the ballot in 2022 or pass legalization bills directly through the legislature.
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