The Gallup Poll has just measured a noteworthy uptick in the number of Americans who admit to both current and experimental use of cannabis. Specifically, Gallup measured an uptick in the number of participants who reported being current cannabis users from a 7% in 2013, up to 13% in 2016.
Translated from percentages, 13% means roughly 1 in 8 people. Following the same trend, the number of participants who reported trying cannabis at least once rose from 38% in 2013 to 43% in 2016.
Respectively that is an 86% rise in current users and a 13% rise in experimental usage. The poll was taken via telephone and included 1,000 participants.
This is a clear indication that tides are turning and minds are changing when it comes to our collective understanding of cannabis. The once strong negative stigma coating the topic of cannabis is showing clear signs of evaporating away.
If Americans thought that cannabis was more dangerous today than yesterday, we would see that reflecting in percentages trending downward. Instead, the facts and the truth about cannabis are being shared among the populous, and hearts and minds are being changed.
In the sense of illegal illicit recreational use, cannabis is by far the most popular choice among Americans. This was confirmed by the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This was also echoed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2015.
This report measured the rate of current cannabis use in 2001-2002 at 4.1%, rising in 2012-2013 to 9.5%. That initial value is more than doubled, with an increase of 132%.
One of the most interesting observations made on the Gallup data was how age and religion affected a participant’s likely view of cannabis. The rates of groups under 30 years of age which currently use cannabis are double that for every respective age group over 30.
The percentage of cannabis use in groups who attend church weekly was at 2%. In contrast, cannabis use in those who seldom to never attend church was 14%, a whopping seven times greater.
In addition, the location of a participant also showed statistical significance. Residents in the western half of the continental US are more likely than the east to identify as a current cannabis user.