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New Gallup Poll Shows 38% of Americans Have Tried Marijuana

Friday, August 09, 2013

 

A new Gallup poll released reveals that 38 percent of Americans have tried marijuana, compared with 34% in 1999 and 33% in 1985.

The latest results are from Gallup's annual Consumption Habits poll, conducted from July 10 to 14.

While the percentage of those who report trying the drug has risen slightly in recent years, Gallup reports that "before Americans' self-reported experimentation with marijuana leveled off in the 1980s, it surged in the 1970s," rising from 4% in 1969 to 12% in 1973 and 24% in 1977."

"Even as Americans' support for legalizing marijuana has doubled, and more than 20 states have loosened marijuana restrictions in various ways," Gallup found "relatively little increase throughout the past three decades in the percentage of U.S. adults who say they have tried marijuana."

Gallup Looks at Usage Trends

While more than one-third of American adults admit to having tried marijuana, a much smaller percentage admit to currently using it.

Based on a sample size of 1,055 adults, seven percent of American adults, in a separate half-sample from the one asked if they have ever tried it , said they smoke marijuana.

The poll looked at usage rates among gender, ethnicity, age, and socio-economic categories -- as well as political affiliations.

According to Gallup poll, liberals have one of the highest rates of self-reported current usage of marijuana at 13%, exceeding both moderates (8%) and conservatives (2%).

Similarly, there is a close pattern for those having ever tried it: More liberals (49%) have tried marijuana than moderates (40%) and conservatives (32%).

Gallup Conclusion

Gallup points to the findings as an indicator that the rise of medical marijuana legislation in states doesn't correlate with an increase of use overall, reporting that it "finds no...surge in Americans' self-reported experience with the drug. In fact, the percentage of young adults trying marijuana has declined since 1985."

In Rhode Island, the General Assembly enacted the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana law on January 3, 2006. This law protects registered medical marijuana patients and their caregivers from arrest and jail for growing, obtaining and acquiring cannabis.

Compassion Centers are places for patients that have qualifying conditions to obtain medical marijuana as allowed by Rhode Island law. Three compassion centers, Thomas C. Slater, Summit and Greenleaf were initially approved to be licensed by the Department. The Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence and Greenleaf Compassionate Care in Portsmouth are licensed and currently operating. The Summit Medical Compassion Center is in the process of applying for their operating license.

See how the New England states stack up below.
 

 

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