As cannabis legalization sweeps the country and the industry becomes more mainstream, more people are coming out of the closet saying they smoke weed. According to a new report from Gallup, Americans are smoking weed at the highest rate ever recorded.
The poll indicated that 45 percent of Americans have tried weed, and 12 percent consume it regularly. This is the highest percentage of people who have tried cannabis since 1969 when only four percent of Americans admitted their cannabis use, according to Gallup. The poll analyzed feedback from more than 1,000 respondents from every state in the country.
The increasing number of people who have tried weed fits well with the results of a Gallup poll last year, indicating that a record high of 60 percent of Americans said weed should be legal. Currently, cannabis is legal in eight states that allow for adult use marijuana, and which together comprise a fifth of the country’s total population.
This increase in cannabis use, or at least among those who have tried it, comes amid a reefer madness revival brought on by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. A Reagan-era prohibitionist, Sessions wants to resurrect the D.A.R.E. program, and has asked Congress to bring back mandatory minimum sentencing for weed cases on account of an “historic drug epidemic.”
Gallup also found that millennials and lower-income men with annual household incomes below $30,000 are more likely to say they smoke weed regularly than other demographics are. In fact 18 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 and 13 percent in the lowest income bracket said they regularly smoked weed. Moreover, men are more likely than women to admit it: 13 percent of men say they smoke weed, versus seven percent of women.
As far as people who said they’ve only tried marijuana, those between the ages of 30 and 49 were the largest demographic, at 51 percent. Next were those aged 50 to 64 at 49 percent, followed by 18 through 29-year-olds at 38 percent, and people older than 65 at 23 percent.
Meanwhile, though people who have annual household incomes of more than $75,000 regularly smoke weed the least (nine percent), they’ve tried weed more than any other income bracket (44 percent).
Though smoking weed is more common than ever before in history, it’s still not as prevalent as smoking cigarettes, a habit shared by 17 percent of Americans. According to Gallup, as more states legalize cannabis, the number of people who smoke weed regularly, or at least who are willing to try it, will likely go up.