Record High Getting High — Nearly Half Of Americans Have Tried Marijuana, Poll Finds

KEY FACTS

Data showing how cannabis experimentation varies across different generations reveals that among Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, about half have tried marijuana—roughly the same as prior polls—but very few of the eldest cohort, the Traditionalists, had.

Just 19% of the Traditionalists, born before 1946, said they had tried it, and when members of this generation die and are replaced by younger people more likely to have tried marijuana in the adult population, the overall figure is pushed up.

A much smaller proportion—just 12%—of the 1,007 U.S. adults interviewed by Gallup between July 6-21 said they “smoke marijuana,” a figure the polling company said has held “steady in recent years.”

Younger Americans are much more likely to say they currently smoke marijuana, Gallup found, consistent with its other polling and suggesting people try marijnuana when young and discontinue as they get older.

Combined Gallup data from 2015-2021 show more Millennials (20%) saying they smoke marijuana than other generations, followed by Gen X (11%), Baby Boomers (9%) and Traditionalists (1%).

More men (16%) said they smoked than women (9%) and those who seldom or never attend religious services (19%) reported smoking at a rate greater than six times weekly attendees (3%).

BIG NUMBER

$100 billion. That’s how much the cannabis industry in America could be worth in 2030. Today, it is worth a more modest $17.5 in annual sales, though legalization could propel the industry to new highs.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Though the percentage of Americans saying they have tried marijuana has risen steadily over the last few decades, Gallup believes the halfway point may mark an upper limit. Experimentation rates have remained relatively steady at around 50% and the polling company says it seems “unlikely” this proportion will increase in future years. The habits of Gen Z will determine this trajectory.

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