New Poll Finds Majority of Americans Have Smoked Marijuana

Posted by Happy Leaves on

Planning on celebrating 4/20 this Thursday? You aren't alone.

According to a new poll released Monday, 52 percent of Americans over 18 have tried marijuana at some point in their lives. The survey conducted by Yahoo News and Marist Poll found that not only have most adults in the U.S. smoked pot, 44 percent of those who tried it once still use it today.

The poll, titled Weed and the American Family, looks at everything from family views on marijuana use to regulation, entertainment, social acceptability, and more. And of course it comes just in time for the unofficial holiday of cannabis culture that falls on April 20th each year.

Despite marijuana still being federally classified as a dangerous Schedule I drug, on par with heroin, American attitudes toward the drug have changed over time. The Yahoo-Marist poll found that, out of the respondents who have tried pot at some point, 65 percent are parents. In fact, people who are current marijuana users are slightly more likely to be parents, at 51 percent.

The poll also found that American parents aren't that worried about their kids smoking weed. Out of all parents surveyed (not just those who had tried marijuana), the leading concern is a fear that their kids will smoke cigarettes. It was true in reverse, too: those surveyed said they thought their own parents would be more upset if they smoked tobacco rather than marijuana.

Image: Farmworkers process newly-harvested marijuana plants
Farmworkers process newly-harvested marijuana plants, at Los Suenos Farms, America's largest legal open air marijuana farm, in Avondale, southern Colo. on Oct. 4, 2016. Brennan Linsley / AP, file

Responses to legalization were varied. While more than 8 in 10 Americans (83 percent) support legalizing medical marijuana, people are evenly split on recreational policy — 49 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana for recreational use while 47 percent oppose it, according to the poll.

And most (62 percent) respondents said they wouldn't use marijuana as a self-prescribed pain reliever even if it were legal.

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in eight states and the District of Columbia — with a majority of U.S. states offering legal cannabis products to patients for medical use.

According to both Snopes and Time magazine, the use of the number 420 to signify marijuana use stems from 1971, when a group of high school students in California's Bay Area met regularly at 4:20 p.m. to smoke pot. One of the teens reportedly knew a member of the Grateful Dead and passed on the tradition, and the rest is hemp history.

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