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As new cannabis-related studies are releasing their findings every day, one new result may shock you. According to Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits poll, the percentage of U.S. citizens that have tried cannabis increased to 49%. This study was conducted between July 6th and 21st and reveals an overall increase in appreciation for the miracle plant.

More than 50 years ago, the percentage of people who tried cannabis floated around four percent. By the 1970s, this percentage started to increase to around 24 percent. However, this figure wouldn’t surpass 40% until 2015. This represents a general increase in cannabis use throughout these past decades. Furthermore, the percentage appears to increase at a more rapid pace as the years go on. We can almost definitely attribute this to the legal cannabis market’s growth.

One factor that could also lead to an explanation for this trend is generational patterns. Within collection data, the Consumption Habits Poll took into account the age range of those being asked. They reported that the oldest generations, also referred to as “traditionalists”, are much less likely to try cannabis than younger generations. According to the study, only 19% of people born before 1945 have tried cannabis. While this percentage is much lower than the national total, it is still much higher than the percentage of the generations before them. In other words, our oldest citizens still seem to consume more cannabis than previous generations.

Gallup's Consumption Habits Poll Reveals A Generational Increase in Cannabis Use
Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

Are Younger Generations Smoking More Cannabis Than Older Generations?

In comparison, Gallup doesn’t have enough data to provide definitive statements on the cannabis consumption of millennials or Gen Z. Mainly due to the fact that these generations are still too young to collect cumulative data, Gallup has only released definitive data in previous generations. However, according to Gallup’s Consumption Habits collection between 2015 and 2021, cannabis consumption among millennials and Gen Z is greater than the consumption of older generations.

This generational difference is something that Gallup continues to analyze. As data continues trickling in, a general trend remains firm. Younger generations consistently smoke more cannabis than older generations, and this concept is uniform from generation to generation. With this data, Gallup has concluded that people tend to smoke more frequently when they are younger. As they grow older, their cannabis use declines either slightly or completely.

With this new data, other new observations are being made. For example, a greater number of men claim to smoke cannabis compared to women. Furthermore, about 19% of non-religious people have claimed to smoke weed. Alternatively, about 9 percent of religious people in this country have smoked weed. In the political world, those who are left-leaning seem to smoke more cannabis than those on the right. 

Gallup's Consumption Habits Poll Reveals A Generational Increase in Cannabis Use
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Will Increased Cannabis Consumption Become a Trend in Future Years?

To conclude the Consumption Habits Poll, Gallup has suggested that the initial 49% of cannabis experimenters will likely surpass 50% in the future. However, Gallup believes that this percentage might level out around 50% for years to come. While the trend suggests that marijuana use has increased, percentages from generation to generation only reach about 50% max. This means that even though more people may be smoking weed, data will be based upon the average percentage of individual generations. Regardless, this trend reveals that many people in the U.S. are embracing cannabis culture. Most importantly, this might lead to reduced use of heavy drugs or cigarettes.

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