Cannabis Consumption, Legal Or Not In Your State: Everyone Seems To Be Consuming At Equal Rates, New Gallup Poll Finds

Zinger Key Points
  • 9% of U.S. adults report using cannabis regularly no matter where they live.
  • Gallup noted the percentage of U.S. adults who report they smoke marijuana has more than doubled in the past decade.

Approximately one in 10 American adults report frequent marijuana use regardless of whether they live in a legal or non-legal state, confirming that state legalization does not significantly change consumption rates, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

This data begs a couple of questions: Does cannabis prohibition and criminalization effectively reduce consumption among adults? Has the war on drugs deterred marijuana consumption?

"The narrow gap in cannabis consumption among residents of states where it remains illegal compared with those in states where it is legal suggests that its criminalization does little to curtail its use among American adults," noted Gallup.

That said, Gallup wrote: "Dovetailing with broadening legalization, the percentage of U.S. adults who report that they smoke marijuana has more than doubled in the past decade, climbing from 7% in 2013 to 17% in 2023. During that same period, the percentage reporting that they have tried it at least once has climbed from 38% to 50%.”

Cannabis Use Highest in Middle Atlantic Region

Reports of regular cannabis use vary across the U.S. Census divisions though the Middle Atlantic region showed the highest rates. While concluding that cannabis use is comparable between legal and non-legal states, the Gallup study found the highest usage rates were observed in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the latter being the only state that maintains adult-use prohibition. Then came East North Central divisions states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The lowest usage rates, 7%, are reported in the East South Central states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Followed by West North Central states of North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

In the East North Central division, where marijuana is prohibited in some states, 11% of adults still use cannabis regularly — again indicating a nuanced relationship between legality and usage patterns.

"These differences are statistically meaningful" as they generally align with political identity.

Red Vs. Blue Vs. Green

People living in red states have somewhat lower regular usage rates than blue states. Regular use is reported by 10% of Democrats and independents, but it drops to 6% among Republicans.

Read the full Gallup poll HERE

Photo: Elsa Olofsson On Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsLegalTop StoriesCannabis UseGallup PollStories That MatterUnited States
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