U.S.: Gallup Poll Shows More Than 33 Million American Adults Use Marijuana
By Derrick Stanley
A new Gallup poll released today found that the number of Americans who smoke pot has almost doubled in the last three years.
Only seven percent of Americans said they were marijuana smokers in 2013. When Gallup asked people in a new poll in July of this year, 13 percent admitted to currently using marijuana. That adds up to more than 33 million users in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that about 40 million Americans currently smoke cigarettes. Marijuana could soon become more popular and prevalent than tobacco, which is seeing a decline in use.
Many factors contribute to this change. Several states have legalized recreational marijuana since 2013, and several more states are voting for laws for recreational and medical legalization this November.
However, recreational marijuana use remains illegal at the federal level and in most states. Police are arresting people for possessing marijuana at record-high rates -- more than 1,700 per day, according to 2014 data from the FBI.
Decreased social stigma has probably also helped turn things around. And exposure: in the late 1960s, fewer than 5 percent of adults told Gallup they had ever smoked marijuana. Today that number is up to 43 percent. So nearly half of American adults now have first-hand experience using marijuana, whether they currently use or not.