Gallup Survey: Usage of Marijuana Remains Unchanged at 17% Among American Adults

A recent Gallup survey has revealed that the proportion of American adults who partake in cannabis consumption has remained steady at 17% in 2023, with only a slight increase from 16% in 2022.

However, this figure represents a significant surge since 2013, when Gallup began including this question in its annual survey on consumption habits. At that time, only seven percent of American adults reported using marijuana.

The data analysis conducted by Gallup also highlighted the significant role that age plays in cannabis usage. It stated, “Approximately a quarter of young adults, aged 18 to 34, reported using marijuana (26%), but this percentage drops to 18% for adults aged 35 to 54, and further decreases to 11% for adults aged 55 and older.”

The study also identified clear differences in marijuana usage based on gender, education level, and political affiliation. Men were found to consume marijuana more frequently than women (19% vs. 14%), and individuals without a college degree were twice as likely to use marijuana as college graduates (21% vs. 9%). Additionally, more Democrats (22%) reported using marijuana compared to Republicans (12%), while Independents fell in between at 17%.

In addition to current usage, the survey also enquired about past experiences with marijuana. Half of American adults, or 50%, reported having tried cannabis at some point.

Gallup’s long-term data indicates that marijuana experimentation experienced a sharp increase during the first decade after it was first measured. From 1969 to 1977, the rate jumped from 4% to 24%, and by 1985, it had risen further to 33%. The figure remained below 40% until 2015 when it saw a slight increase to 44%, and as of 2021, it stands at approximately 50%.

The Gallup survey also highlighted the changing attitudes of Americans towards marijuana, reflecting a country in the midst of a significant shift in drug policy. An earlier poll published by Gallup in November revealed that seven out of ten Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, marking a record high after three consistent years at 68%.

Public opinion on marijuana legalization has undergone a dramatic shift since individual states began ending cannabis prohibition nearly twelve years ago. Major strides were seen in 2013 when support crossed the 50% threshold after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana use. Since then, support has increased by an additional 12 points.

The survey also marks the second consecutive year where majority support for legalization is found among all major subgroups, including age, political party, and ideology. Notably, conservatives were the last major subgroup to show majority support, reaching 51% in 2022.

However, another finding from Gallup indicated that, for the first time, over half of the U.S. adult population (52%) believes that the country has regressed in dealing with illegal drugs, while only 24% believe progress has been made.

These findings represent a significant shift from the outlook in 2019 when more Americans were optimistic about progress being made (41%) than those who believed the U.S. was losing ground (30%). This reflects a sharp reversal in public perception regarding the nation’s approach to illegal drugs.


  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment