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Survey reveals how many Americans have tried marijuana — and the results are stunning

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According to a new survey by Gallup, more than 40 percent of Americans have tried using marijuana at some point in their lives, the highest percentage ever recorded by Gallup and a remarkable increase from when Gallup first asked respondents about marijuana, in 1969.

Gallup’s survey, conducted July 5-9, asked 1,021 adults 18 years or older in all 50 states, “Keeping in mind that all of your answers to this survey are confidential, have you, yourself, ever happened to try marijuana?”

Forty-five percent of respondents admitted they have used marijuana, up from just 38 percent in 2013 and an incredible 4 percent in 1969, when Gallup first asked the question.

A large chunk of the increase from 1969 to today is likely attributed to a change in how the question was initially asked. From 1969 to 1985, Gallup asked, “Have you, yourself, ever happened to try marijuana,” leaving out the promise to keep the response completely confidential that now appears in its question.

However, from the mid-1980s to 2011, little changed in the proportion of the population who had admitted to using marijuana, with the number sitting relatively steady, at about 34-37 percent. Since 2011, the number has surged, coinciding with the amount of states that have chosen to legalize marijuana. Twenty-nine states now allow medical marijuana, and eight states have legalized the recreational use of the drug.

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