13% of American adults reported current marijuana use in a new Gallup survey
States' willingness to legalize marijuana might contribute to rise in use, poll says
The percentage of American adults who say they smoke weed has nearly doubled in three years, according to a new Gallup poll.
Among those who participated in the survey, one in eight – 13% – reported current marijuana use, and 43% said they have tried the drug, an increase from 38% in 2013. The percentage of pot smokers was 7% in the 2013 Gallup survey.
The poll results were based on telephone interviews with about 1,000 randomly chosen adults.
Marijuana use in the United States
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (PDF).
A 2015 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the rate of current marijuana use rose from 4.1% in 2001-02 to 9.5% in 2012-13. About one-third of the respondents reported symptoms of marijuana addiction.
Age, religiosity and marijuana legalization
The Gallup poll results showed that age and religiosity affect how likely one is to use marijuana. One in five adults younger than 30 is a pot smoker: at least double the rates of each older age group. The rate of marijuana use among those who seldom or never attend a religious service is 14%, compared with 7% of those who go to church monthly and 2% of weekly churchgoers.
Residents in the West were more likely to tell Gallup that they smoke weed. The Gallup report said that the uptick in marijuana use could be a result of states’ willingness to legalize marijuana.
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Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington state. Five states, including California, Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona and Nevada, are voting on marijuana legalization in November.