Half of Americans have tried cannabis at some point, according to a new Gallup poll. Another 17% of those polled said they “smoke marijuana” – a new high recorded by the pollster but similar to the 16% found in the Gallup Consumption Habits survey a year ago.
The proportion of Americans who say they smoke cannabis has more than doubled since 2013, when Gallup first asked the question, when 7% of respondents said they did. Between 1969 and 1977, the number of Americans who said they had tried cannabis jumped 20 percentage points, from 4% to 24% and the share rose another nine points, to 33%, by 1985, but then stalled at under 40% until 2015, when it rose to 44%. It remained at about that level through 2019 but then ticked up to 49% in 2021.
Over that same period, Gallup recorded a significant increase in the U.S. public’s support for cannabis legalization, which has grown from 12% in 1969 to 68% today.
The survey found that a majority of Democrats (57%) and independents (52%) had tried cannabis at some point, compared to 39% of Republicans.
According to the poll, current use is highest among adults aged 18 to 34 – at 29% – and the cohort is more than three times as likely as adults 55-and-older (9%) to be current cannabis consumers. Current use among adults aged 35-54 (17%) matches the national average.
Similar percentages of men and women say they consume cannabis, while adults without a college degree are about twice as likely as college graduates to smoke it. Democrats (21%) are nearly twice as likely as Republicans (12%) to smoke cannabis, while independents’ use (17%) falls in between.
The majority of respondents said they are “not too” (32%) or “not at all concerned” about the effects of cannabis on adults (23%), while less than half said they are “very” (19%) or “somewhat concerned” (26%). Respondents were more likely to express concerns about cannabis’ effects on young adults or teens, with 40% saying they are “very” concerned and 35% saying they are “somewhat” concerned.
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