A woman looking for work in the cannabis industry fills out a form in front of a marijuana plant at the CannaSearch job fair in downtown Denver. (Photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters)
If public opinion is any indication, nationwide marijuana legalization might not be such a pipe dream after all.
Forty-four percent of Americans say they have tried cannabis, according to a new Gallup poll.
The American research-based consulting company, which is best known for its opinion polls, says this is the highest percentage to admit to having tried the soft drug since it first started asking the question in 1969 — when only 4 percent said they had sampled it.
Additionally, roughly 1 in 10 U.S. citizens say that not only have they tried marijuana, but they also currently smoke it.
This new information, released Wednesday, was collected July 8-12 via telephone interviews with 1,009 adults who were selected at random. The news comes shortly after Oregon legalized recreational pot use on July 1; it was already legal in Colorado, Alaska, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Gallup’s new poll conforms to an upward trend in which Americans have become more liberal on the issue of marijuana legalization.
These changes could mirror wider pot use among the populace, increased comfort in admitting to it or a mixture of both factors.
The poll also confirmed several other factors that increase the likelihood of a person experimenting with marijuana. According to the results, men are more likely than women to use or have used pot, and secular people are more likely than religious people to toke up.
In March, the General Social Survey released survey findings that said a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana.