The number of Americans who smoke pot has nearly doubled over the last few years.
Thirty-three million Americans, 13 percent of the country, currently smoke pot, a new Gallup poll reports of marijuana users nationwide. A number nearly double that of a 2013 Gallup poll asking the same question, which showed seven percent of the country smoked pot.
The trend, which could be attributed to states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, could also be due to the fact the attitude towards the use of it has lightened up dramatically. As the attitude towards pot becomes more palatable, users may feel more comfortable in answering the question truthfully.
Nearly half the country, 43 percent, said they have tried pot. That is also up from 38 percent in 2013, and shows a marked increase from the four percent who admitted to trying pot in 1969 — the age of hippies.
The Gallup poll found that states in the west, where four of the five states that have legalized it are, smoke more than other regions of the country. Fourteen percent of those living in the Western U.S. say they currently use marijuana, while nine percent of the Eastern U.S. say they currently use it. The South was the lowest region represented, with only six percent saying they smoke.
Surprisingly, education level shows, to a point, higher rates among the more educated. For those who only have a high school education, nine percent currently use, while 11 percent of those who either have some college or completed an undergraduate degree admit to currently smoking pot. Postgraduate’s only smoke at a six percent rate.
Even two percent of “weekly churchgoers” admit to smoking pot on a regular basis.
The upward trend of not only support for marijuana legalization, but also in the number of those who smoke it, makes what Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), recently told The Daily Caller News Foundation all the more realistic.
“In the future, elected officials at both the state and federal level will need to place greater emphasis on representing the views of their constituents.”
Gallup also notes that a majority of Americans have favored legalization of pot since 2013. The number currently stands at 58 percent.
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