Surprise, surprise

by DGO Staff

New study shows that weed smoking is at an all time high… pun totally intended

If you’re a weed smoker who abstains from other types of smoking — i.e. cigarettes — the dislike you have of tobacco smoke may feel a bit, well, hypocritical. After all, you’re inhaling the smoke from a pipe or bong, right? So what’s the difference?

Well, there are some pretty big differences between the two, as science has proven, including the risk of lung cancer and other nasty nasties. But either way, you shouldn’t feel like you’re in the minority anymore after hearing the results of a recent Gallup Poll about cannabis vs. cigarette smokers.

According to the poll, the smoking tables have turned, and more Americans are now smoking marijuana than they are cigarettes. Poll results show that more than 16% of Americans smoke marijuana, up from 12% last year.

Historically, this is the highest reported number of American adults to admit to cannabis use in the Gallup Polls. This poll was conducted from July 5-26, with participation from 1,103 adults.

And, what’s perhaps more interesting is that roughly half of American adults admitted to having tried marijuana at least once. That is a significant increase compared to what poll results showed in 1969, when only 4% of American adults said they had tried marijuana.

While this is the first time that cannabis use has outweighed cigarette use, the trends for marijuana and cigarette trends have actually been headed in opposite directions for decades. Cigarette smoking has been in a steady decline since the 1980s, while marijuana use has been consistently increasing.

Interestingly, the uptick in the trend of marijuana smokers is led by younger adults. The National Institute of Health reported that in 2021 more young people used marijana than any year prior, and young people (ages 18-29) are generally more likely to smoke a joint than they are a cigarette. Adults over 30 tend to go the other direction, but legality could be a factor in changing that.

And, according to the study, there is a correlation between education and cigarette smokers. The more educated a person is, the less likely they are to smoke cigarettes.

That’s not the case when it comes to marijuana, however. People with college degrees are just as likely to use canna-bis as those who do not have a college degree.

Another interesting takeaway from the study is that Democrats and Independents tend to use cannabis in similar amounts, while Republicans admit to very little or no use. That alone probably isn’t shocking, but it does play a role when it comes to legalization in prohibitive states. The Republican sentiment regarding cannabis means that red states like Texas may have a much longer road to legalization than states like Maryland might.

But the good news is that the overall sentiment regarding legalization has seen a big shift, and 68% percent of Americans now feel that marijuana should be legal — another record high. And, come November, six states could vote on ballot measures legalizing marijuana. If they pass, these states will join 19 other states where marijuana has been legalized.

The increasing number of marijuana users can certainly help politicians feel the pressure from their constituents. After all, many Americans view marijuana laws as archaic and unnecessary. More adults are using marijuana than ever before, and it’s time for the laws to reflect what the majority of people want.

The culture and stigmas around marijuana have changed greatly over the years. What was once considered a “gateway drug,” is now legal in 19 states across the country. The days of marijua-na users being viewed as lazy, unproductive homebodies has changed. The science and understanding of marijuana has also greatly changed. As the science and understanding of marijuana continues to change, so will the mindsets surrounding it. As the study indicates, we are almost certainly going to \see more and more people admitting to cannabis use as every year passes.

So, next time you decide to spark up a joint with your friends, remember that you are now in the majority when it comes to smoking — and remember that most of your neighbors are almost certainly on your side when it comes to legalization.

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