A new Gallup poll sheds more light on cannabis consumption trends in the United States, finding that nearly 50% of Americans have “tried” cannabis, the highest such number since the polling service began to pose the question.
For context, the poll, part of Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits polling, found that only 4% of Americans said they had tried cannabis fifty years ago. That number has steadily climbed over the years, to 20% in 1977 and to 40% in 2015. In the poll released Tuesday, that number was 49%.
The cannabis landscape in the United States is rapidly changing. Just this year, four states legalized cannabis for adult use—New York, New Mexico, Connecticut, and Virginia—bringing the total number of states with full legalization to 19. Cannabis is legal for medical use in nearly every state.
When it comes to regular cannabis consumption, Gallup found that 12% of respondents said they “smoke marijuana,” and this number, too, is on the rise.
The Gallup poll also drilled down into demographics: more men (16%) than women (9%) said they smoke cannabis. As far as religion, those who go to their house of worship weekly are much less likely (3%) to say they smoke cannabis, while the number of those who report “seldom” attending a service is much higher (19%).
Politics still seem to factor into cannabis consumption, too. While conservatives tend to feel less favorable toward cannabis consumption, that’s changing, and libertarians are some of the strongest cannabis law reform supporters around. Still, Gallup’s latest poll shows a clear political divide: 22% of liberals and 15% of Democrats say they “regularly” consume cannabis, but only 7% of Republicans and 6% of conservatives say so.
Gallup has also conducted polls on American support for legalization, showing in the most recent such poll that 68% would back such an effort. Support crossed the 50% threshold roughly a decade ago.
What about future cannabis trends? Well, some of that depends on Generation Z, because many millennials are approaching middle age and have long since “tried” cannabis for the first time. Therefore, Gen Z’s “incidence of trying marijuana will likely determine the trajectory of the trendline,” and whether consumption will “level off” or curve upward and crack the 50% mark.