Because I got high - Mary J use hits record high:
Bottom Line: So here's a surprise. As several states have taken action to attempt to decriminalize marijuana and allow for ease of access to the product, use has begun to skyrocket. Gallup has tracked marijuana use since 1969 and the results and recent increase in use are telling. I'll start by saying that if you haven't smoked pot, you are actually still part of the majority but that might not be the case much longer. Here are highlights from Gallup's latest research:
Those who've tried Marijuana over time:
- 1969: 4%
- 1980: 25%
- 2000: 34%
- 2010: 35%
- 2017: 45%
So a couple of quick observations. Very few had traveled down the path of pot smoking prior to the late 60's in which it became a significant part of the counter-culture that continued through the 70's. Clearly there was a huge boom in use between 69 and the end of the 70's. While use gradually increased over the next twenty years it seemed to pretty much level off by 1986. From 1986 through 2010 there was only a 1% increase in use among adults. That all changed around 2011. The increase in marijuana use has not only spiked to a record high, the increase in use in six years equaled the increase in use of the prior 31 years! Not surprisingly the eight states that have taken action to attempt to decriminalize recreational marijuana (it's still federally illegal) are disproportionately seeing significant spikes in use. So these figures represent those who have used marijuana, not necessarily those who regularly use it. As for those folks...
- In 2013 7% of adults smoked marijuana regularly
- By 2017 that figure has jumped to 12%
So we've seen a near doubling of regular use within just a few years. Again states that have taken action to attempt to decriminalize are leading the way. So you can begin to get an idea about what might occur if it were to continue to become more pervasive in our society. Ironically, we're seeing record high pot smoking at a time in which we'd recently had record low cigarette smoking (17% by 2013). I've also found it ironic that many of the same interest groups (legal and political) that have been anti-big tobacco for decades are among the biggest pro pot people in the country.
While Gallup was pulling this info together they also asked about whether we're pro legalization or not. 60% are now in favor of legal marijuana. As for me I've still never smoked a traditional cigarette, let along pot. As for the legalization effort I continue to be confounded by the efforts around the country, including here in Florida. There isn't any legal marijuana, in any form, anywhere in the United States. It's still a schedule one drug according to the federal government and given that pesky US Constitution and that inconvenient "Supremacy Clause", the only way it'll ever be legal is if it happens at the federal level. That's where all of the advocates should turn their attention rather than creating state sanctioned federal drug trafficking enterprises.