Thirty million Americans can’t be wrong.
More American adults than ever say they currently use cannabis, according to results of a Gallup poll released Monday, which showed an increase of nearly 100 percent in cannabis confessionals.
According to the polling outfit’s Consumption Habits poll conducted last month, 13 percent of adults over the age of 18 say they currently use marijuana — up from 7 percent when the question was asked in 2013.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 74.3 percent of Americans are over 18. That would be 235.32 million sentient adults, of whom close to 30.5 million now admit — anonymously, and over the phone, of course — that they are cannabis users.
There’s been a noticeable change even in the last 365 days. Last year, 11 percent of poll respondents said they currently smoked marijuana.
The poll of 1,023 adults in all fifty states has a margin of error of five percent.
The vast majority — 87 percent — of Americans still abstain from the country’s most popular illegal drug, but 43 percent admit that they have tried it at least once in their lives. The biggest cohort there was among Gen Xers and the oldest Millennials: 50 percent of Americans aged between 30 and 49 say they’ve had a hit.
It’s not clear if the big increase in admitted regular use has anything to do with the movement of states legalizing recreational cannabis for adults sweeping the nation. In 2012, Colorado and Washington legalized small amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and over. Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia followed, and five states, including California, are set to vote on legalizing recreational cannabis in November.
Though it probably does — 14 percent of people living in the west say they use marijuana, compared to 6 percent in the south and 9 percent in the East and Midwest.
Gallup thinks that more Americans may be comfortable with either trying cannabis or admitting they’ve tried it — or use it regularly — because more Americans are accepting of cannabis as either a medical treatment or an acceptable form of recreational behavior.
“[B]ecause a clear majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana and more states are considering it, it’s likely that use of and experimentation with marijuana will increase,” the organization wrote in its report released Monday.
Men (12 percent) are almost twice as likely to use cannabis than women (7 percent), and people who rarely or never attend church (14 percent) are much more likely to use cannabis than those who go every week (2 percent).
Cannabis use also appeared to be more popular among people who earn less then $30,000 a year (14 percent) than people who earn more (9 percent for middle-earners; 9 percent for people who earn more than $75,000 a year), but people who had been to college (11 percent) used more than those who had not attended school past high school (9 percent).
What do you think? Are there even more cannabis users than this poll reveals?