Marijuana is still federally classified as a dangerous Schedule 1 drug in the United States just like heroin, but a large percentage of Americans claimed to have used it at least once, findings of a new telephone survey have revealed.
52 Percent Of Adult Americans Have Tried Marijuana
Results of the Yahoo News-funded survey have revealed that more than half of American adults have tried marijuana and 14 percent use it on a regular basis.
The survey, which was carried out by Marist Poll, asked Americans 18 years old and above about their personal use of marijuana and what their opinion is about the drug.
The results are similar to those reported by polling agency Gallup, which has earlier revealed that the number of Americans who said that they have tried pot increased to 44 percent in 2015 from just 4 percent in 1969.
Based on the results of interviews involving 1,122 adults conducted from March 1 to March 7, the researchers concluded that 129 million Americans, or 52 percent of the population have tried marijuana at least once and 56 percent of American adults find weed to be socially acceptable.
Twenty-two percent of Americans likewise see themselves as marijuana users and these include 14 percent of Americans who currently use marijuana regularly, which means they use the drug at least once a month. Among the regular users, 51 percent are parents and 27 percent are parents of underage kids, or children below 18 years old.
Of the 22 percent of American adults who use marijuana, majority are male comprising 55 percent of this group and 45 percent are female. Most are millennials comprising 52 percent of marijuana users.
Adults who use marijuana were likewise found to earn less than $50,000 per year and almost seven in every 10 individuals in this group do not have a college degree. Most marijuana users, or 71 percent of the group, do not practice religion.
Stigma Still Exists
Despite prevalence in marijuana use and relatively wide social acceptance, there still appears to be a stigma on using weed. This is particularly reflected when respondents were surveyed in relation to them being children or parents.
Of the poll respondents, 70 percent believe that their parents would not be happy to learn they use marijuana recreationally. Fifty-eight percent of the parents also think that their children would not approve if they learn that their parent enjoyed using marijuana for recreational purpose.
"When asked to think, as a parent, about why parents don't speak to their children about marijuana, the most cited reason by Americans is not knowing what to say, 36%. Lack of comfort with the topic, 32%, and not wanting to encourage use, 23%, follow," researchers at the Marist Institute for Public Opinion reported.
"Of note, 33% of marijuana users believe parents have not spoken to their children about marijuana because they do not want to encourage its use."
The poll was conducted as more states in the country move to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana. To date, 29 states have laws that allow for use of medicinal marijuana and eight have passed laws that legalize recreational use of weed.