Poll: 44% admit to smoking pot

As Oregon becomes the fourth state to make recreational marijuana use legal, 44% of Americans say they have tried marijuana. This is the highest percentage Gallup has found since it began asking the question in 1969. Back then, a mere 4% admitted to having tried it.

These data are based on a July 8-12 Gallup poll, which came on the heels of the latest victory for pro-marijuana legalization advocates when, on July 1, Oregon joined Colorado, Alaska, Washington and the District of Columbia in making recreational use legal.

Each time Gallup has polled on the question, Americans have become at least marginally more likely to say they have tried smoking pot, including a six-percentage-point increase in the latest poll. The changes over time may reflect either an increase in the percentage who have tried the drug, or an increased willingness to admit to having done so in the past. The latter possibility certainly seems plausible given Americans’ growing support for legalizing marijuana in recent decades.