New Poll: Number of American Adults Who Smoke Marijuana Almost Doubled Within 3 Years


Over the years, the negative mystery and perception associated with the marijuana plant seems to be vanishing in the United States. The plant has a deep history in the United States. In the past, there have been concerted efforts by the United States government and its agencies, and religious bodies to demonize the plant.

For example, between 1936 and 1939, a drama film titled Reefer Madness was released by church groups to warn parents of so-called dangers of allowing their children to use marijuana. But gradually, more and more people are beginning to realize the true value of the plant, described as wonderful by its advocates.

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It is true that the plant could be abused. However, advocates hold that if it is legalized and properly regulated, it could be beneficial for many people around the world. It is a proven fact that the plant has a great deal of medicinal value.

In the latest news about marijuana use in the United States, a new poll by the American research company, Gallup Incorporated has revealed that the percentage of American adults who smoke marijuana has nearly doubled in three years.

According to the Gallup poll published on August 8th 2016, among America’s adults who participated in the survey, one in eight – representing 13% of the population of the respondents used in the poll – reported current marijuana use.

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In 2013, the same Gallup poll revealed that 7% of American adults smoke marijuana. This means the figure nearly doubled within the last three years since the first study was conducted. Marijuana advocates say that the sharp rise in marijuana use in the country, is due to successes in educating the American public about medicinal and other beneficial value of the plant. People are responding to the education and are getting rid of their former negative perception about the plant.

The poll revealed further, that 43% of respondents have tried the plant before. This too, is an increase from 38% in 2013. It was a complete appreciation of what was obtained in the 2013 study.

According to the researchers, the poll was based on telephone interviews with about 1,000 randomly chosen adults in the country. In 2013, the same sample size of respondents was used.

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The poll proved that age and religion affect how the country’s adults use marijuana. One in five adults younger than 30 is a marijuana smoker. The rate of marijuana use among those who seldom or never attend a religious service, is 14%. However, those who go to church monthly recorded 7%. Those who also go to church weekly were 2%.

Also, by geographical division of the United States, those who live in the Western part of the country responded massively for marijuana use. The Gallup report said that the favorable response in marijuana use among residents in the West could be a result of their states’ willingness to legalize the plant. Observers say this assertion by the poll is true. Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in Western states such as Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington.

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According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health in the United States, Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the country.

Also, a 2015 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the rate of current marijuana use in the United States has rose from 4.1% in 2001-02 to 9.5% in 2012-13.

Marijuana advocates believe the majority of the American population now have favorable thought on marijuana.  Five states, including California, Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona and Nevada, are voting on marijuana legalization this November.

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In October 2015, Gallup pushed a poll revealing that 58% of the American population backed the legalization of marijuana across the country. Gallup admitted that the poll was the high point in the company’s 46-year study on legalization of the plant among America’s public.

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“Americans’ support for legal marijuana has steadily grown over time. When Gallup first asked the question, in 1969, 12% of Americans thought marijuana use should be legal, with little change in two early 1970s polls. By the late 1970s, support had increased to about 25%, and held there through the mid-1990s. The percentage of Americans who favored making use of the drug legal exceeded 30% by 2000 and was higher than 40% by 2009,” the study said.

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