Americans are Smoking More Weed Than Ever
A new Gallup poll shows that one in eight Americans smoke marijuana–a number that’s doubled in the last three years.
In 2013, only 7 percent of adults said they were marijuana smokers. Gallup’s July poll this year reported that 13 percent currently use marijuana, equating to more than 33 million cannabis users in the U.S. About half of adults between the ages of 30 and 49 (50%) and between 50 and 64 (48%) report having tried it.
The poll reports that a major contributing factor in the increase of marijuana use is due to more states legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use. Medical marijuana programs exist in half of U.S. states, with four more voting on the issue this November.
There appears to be a regional difference in attitudes and willingness to try marijuana. “Gallup finds residents in the West — home of all four states that have legalized recreational marijuana use — are significantly more likely to say they smoke marijuana than those in other parts of the country.” The percentage of people who have experimented with marijuana is slightly below the national average in the East, Midwest and South.
Conversely, income and education levels did not have a strong correlation with an individuals likelihood of having tried marijuana, although households that make less than $30,000 are slightly more likely to report using cannabis, at 14%.
Other factors that influence marijuana use are age and religiosity. Almost one in five adults (19%) under the age of 30 report currently using it — at least double the rate seen among each older age group. Only 2% of weekly churchgoers and 7% of less frequent attenders say they use marijuana, but this rises to 14% of those who seldom or never attend a religious service.
At the federal level, marijuana is still illegal, and a 2014 report from the FBI shows that there are more than 1,700 marijuana arrests per day.