According to a new Gallup Poll, 44% of Americans have tried cannabis at some point. That’s the highest percentage in the history of the poll, which started in 1969 at 4%. About 11% say they currently use cannabis, or about 1 in 10.
Truth is an amazing thing. In 1969 every kid was lectured and lied to about marijuana in an effort to scare them away from trying it. I was told the same things growing up in the ’80s and ’90s. Marijuana kills brain cells. Marijuana causes cancer. Marijuana leads to harder drugs. All lies, repeated over the decades.
But something has changed, and that something is the Internet. Instant communication and sharing of information worldwide has torn down the wall of lies. When someone heard a lie before the Internet, they had to except it. Now they just get on Google and find all the information they need to dispute the lie.
Of course the Internet is dominated by young people. That’s why 18% of those 30 and younger say they currently use cannabis. They know the truth about marijuana and they can make their own decision on whether or not they want to use it regularly.
And as more people try marijuana, the more mainstream it becomes — and marijuana becoming mainstream is the key to full scale legalization. When people are used to something, they are less likely to fear it. And make no mistake, fear is the foundation of prohibition.
Other interesting results from the poll include the fact that men are twice as likely to use marijuana as women, and those with no religious affiliation are much more likely to use cannabis than those who identify with a religion. Again, we refer back to the fear I mentioned earlier.
The fear is dissipating. And so is prohibition.