Share of Americans Who Admit Current Pot Use Nearly Doubles in Three Years

In the latest Gallup survey, 13 percent said they were current consumers, up from 7 percent in 2013.


Jacob Sullum

The share of American adults who admit to being pot smokers has nearly doubled in the last few years, from 7 percent in 2013 to 13 percent this year, according to Gallup poll numbers released today. The ongoing collapse of marijuana prohibition, which began with ballot initiatives approved in November 2012, probably has something to do with that, although it's not clear how much of the increase is due to rising cannabis consumption and how much to greater candor.

Gallup notes that "states' willingness to legalize marijuana could be a reason for the uptick in the percentage of Americans who say they smoke marijuana, regardless of whether it is legal in their particular state." As legal and social tolerance of marijuana increases, people may be more likely to use it, but they also may be more likely to admit using it. Notably, the share of Gallup respondents who say they have ever tried marijuana rose less dramatically (from 38 percent in 2013 to 43 percent in 2016) than the share who say they "smoke marijuana" currently, a touchier question.

The rate of current use in the 2016 Gallup poll is the same as the rate of past-year use in the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which includes teenagers as well as adults. The results from the 2015 NSDUH should be available next month, but so far the post-2012 increase in past-year use has been relatively small: less than one percentage point between 2013 and 2014.

Combining results from 2013, 2105, and 2016, Gallup found that the rate of current use was highest among 18-to-29-year-olds (19 percent) and lowest among those 65 or older (3 percent). Lifetime use was most common among respondents in between, about half of whom said they had tried marijuana. Use was also related to religiosity. Just 2 percent of respondents who go to church every week reported current marijuana use, compared to 14 percent of those who never or rarely attend religious services.

The overall percentage of adults who say they have tried marijuana has risen more than tenfold since the late 1960s, from 4 percent in 1969 to 43 percent last year. Meanwhile, support for legalizing marijuana rose from 12 percent in 1969 to 58 percent last year.

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  1. Pot leads to Psychosis and Addiction according to NIDA. We must postpone and prevent use as much as possible!

    1. Dude. We’re done with the Reefer Madness era.

      Sure, cannabis isn’t for everyone, those who can’t handle it shouldn’t partake of it.

      BUT… if some people can use it responsibly, and continue to be a valuable contributor to society… or if some people need it in some form to treat an ailment they have… they should be legally allowed to do so, and not have to fear getting arrested, or their homes getting invaded, or their property stolen by overzealous law enforcement.

      Join us in the 21st Century, won’t ya?

      1. Sure. Let’s create an entire new generation of criminals and whack jobs. Great idea.

        1. Sarc certainly.

          1. That or he just TL;DR’d my response. 😛

      2. He can’t, he’s too busy hiding from the Christian Taliban in Dogsdick, GA.

  2. We need a type of stingray device to capture Gallup poll respondents. That way we can win the war on drugs.

    1. bruh…… don’t give them ideas

  3. The overall percentage of adults who say they have tried marijuana has risen more than tenfold since the late 1960s, from 4 percent in 1969 to 43 percent last year. Meanwhile, support for legalizing marijuana rose from 12 percent in 1969 to 58 percent last year.

    43% tried it but 58% support legalizing it. Can we get our Presidential candidate from that 15% group?

    1. The subgroup of people who are fine with people being legally allowed to do things they personally disagree with doesn’t have that much overlap with the group that is motivated to devote years of their life to accruing power.

      1. Yep. But a man can dream.

  4. I don’t get it. I never liked the stuff. I tried it a couple of times back in 1980 or so and hated it. I got talked into trying it again about ten years later and it was the same. Whatever.

    Anyone who likes it, more power to you. It is wildly popular so of course I know people who use it. It doesnt seem to adversely affect their lives in any way that I can see.

    1. At the risk of you switching sides and opposing it, I would offer some advice: try it in a quiet setting where you can relax for a few hours. Sativa – upper, indica – downer. Use a partial dose when starting, using too much can cause an adverse reaction. And remember – it is perfectly safe and no matter what you’ll be good as new in a few hours.

      1. To add to what AM said, if you’ve tried it and it made you nervous or panicky, I can suggest two strains which will absolutely not do that, regardless of set or setting:

        Hindu Kush – Very different from almost every other Kush out there, this one induces a kind of quasi-spiritual state of mind almost instantly, and leaves the user feeling peaceful and somewhat contented.

        Blue Dream – Not the strongest herb out there, but extremely relaxing, anxiety-reducing, calming.

        Let me know if either of those work for you.

        1. My No Thanks was aimed at AdditionMyth.

          To you DEATFBIRSECIA, it didn’t make me nervous or panicky, it made me pissed off and paranoid. I went out back in the dark to pee and thought I heard someone rustling around in the bushes. I thought someone was about to break in the house or was just fucking with me so I went back in and got a flashlight and a pistol. It was just the wind of course.

          Not good.

          I will stick to alcohol. That makes me relaxed and easy going, and I soon just want to go to sleep.

          1. I recall one time I was smoking with some friends and I saw police lights outside. I thought for sure the fuzz were coming to get us, it sort of freaked me out. It was just an ambulance across the street, but I was so paranoid, I kept looking out the window for cops, lol.

            1. I think this is the only real source of marijuana paranoia though. I think most people wouldn’t experience it if there was no reason to fear legal repercussions for being caught stoned.

      2. No thanks.

    2. I tried it more than a few times. I liked it at first because it was a unique experience, but after the novelty wore off, I didn’t really see it as something I wanted to partake of too much. It sort of makes me feel paranoid, for lack of a better word. I prefer alcohol, even though I concede it’s probably worse for you than cannabis. That being said, it’s insane to put people into prison over it, just barbaric level stupidity.

    3. They must have had some bad shit where you live. In the PNW, it’s like the Mecca for pot. Just minus all the Sharia law and suicide vests.

  5. If it’s legal it must be o.k. The govt will protect us from harmful things. And harmful thoughts. And harmful …

    1. I have had all the protection from them I need, thank you.

    2. In eastern WA state, where I live, more and more people are ‘coming out of the closet’ when it comes to pot use now that it’s been legal for awhile. The stigma the squares have for it is fading.

  6. my best friend’s mom makes $74 an hour on the computer . She has been without work for five months but last month her payment was $19746 just working on the computer for a few hours. find more information …

  7. Me tell him: “This is sensi, the healing of the nation.
    In some places doctors use it for herbal medication.
    Ronald Reagan smoke it just before him go pon television.”

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