United Stoners of America: More than 33mn US citizens smoke pot
The percentage of Americans who smoke weed has nearly doubled in the past three years, according to a recent Gallup poll. In 2013, the pollster found 7 percent of Americans were actively toking. By July, that number had increased to 13 percent.
A large part of this increase may be due to the decriminalization of marijuana on a state level. While the federal government still considers marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug – grouped with heroin, date rape drug GHB and bath salts, nearly half the states have legalized medicinal use of pot.
The Gallup poll confirmed that legalization does play a part in the increase, noting that residents of the Western states where four states have legalized marijuana were significantly more likely to smoke than in the rest of the country.
The study found that the most likely group to smoke marijuana are male adults aged 18 to 29, who earn under $30,000 a year with either some college or a college degree and who rarely attend church and live in the West.
It is worth noting that, while those who earned under $30,000 were the most likely income bracket to be marijuana smokers, annual incomes for both the $30,000 to $75,000 group and those who earned $75,000 and above were equally likely to have smoked. In addition, 9 percent of both groups were regular smokers.
The polls also looked at groups that have tried marijuana, but aren’t currently using it. When looking at the earning groups, the mostly likely to have tried marijuana earned about $75,000.
Nine states will vote on legalizing marijuana in November for recreational use, not just medicinal. The results could have a huge impact on the current number – and the tobacco industry.
The Washington Post pointed out that there are 40 million cigarette smokers in the US, and that number is decreasing. Given that there are currently 33 million active pot smokers in the country, marijuana could overtake cigarettes in just a few years.