(Seth McConnell, Denver Post file)

Q: ‘Have you ever tried marijuana?’ Charting U.S. answers, from 1969-2015

Let's see how United States residents have responded over the decades when asked, 'Have you ever tried marijuana?'

Real talk: Have you ever tried marijuana?

It’s a simple enough question — and it’s one respected pollsters Gallup have been asking U.S. residents since the ’60s. As you might imagine, Americans’ answers have altered dramatically in that time.

America responds to the question, "Have you ever tried marijuana" -- and here are the country's responses from 1969 to 2015. (The Denver Post)
America responds to the question, “Have you ever tried marijuana” — and here are the country’s responses from 1969 to 2015. (The Denver Post)

When Gallup first asked that question in 1969, only 4 percent of Americans responded that yes, they’d gotten high before. That number saw sharp, almost surreal increases throughout the ’70s and into the mid-’80s, when they tapered off in 1985 at 33 percent admitting their experience with cannabis.

And then, the lull. See for yourself — right there to the right — that 28-year period where the amount of Americans experimenting with marijuana didn’t change all that much. While the percentage of U.S. residents trying marijuana doubled from 12 percent in 1973 to 24 percent in 1977, only a four-year segment, that percentage barely budged 5 percent in the 28 years between 1985 and 2013.

And then states started going recreationally legal — two in 2012 and another couple states plus D.C. in 2014. And that’s when we saw another dramatic increase.

What was once 38 percent in 2013 is now 44 percent in 2015, according to Gallup data. So as of today — Oct. 22, 2015 — 44 percent of American adults admit to getting stoned.

In related news, JAMA Psychiatry published a major report on Wednesday showing that cannabis use in the U.S. has doubled in the last decade.

Think these percentages will continue to rise as legalization spreads? Tell us what you think:


POLL: Cannabis use is on the rise in the U.S., as is the number of Americans who admit trying pot. Do you think these numbers will continue to rise as legalization spreads?

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