Back in the day if you asked the question, “What does a cannabis user look like”, people would have immediately thought of Tommy Chong or any archetypical stoner archived within their internal cultural landscape.
These days, the question is a bit more difficult to answer. After all, Elon Musk is “technically” a cannabis user and no one would have ever imagined him toking up on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
According to a recent Gallup Poll – 49% of American adults have tried cannabis – in other words, whether you know it or you don’t – you know a cannabis user.
These days, anyone could be a cannabis user – and that’s a good thing! The stigma associated with cannabis consumption is finally waning, probably because the “drug warrior generation” are – for the lack of a better word – dying off.
With the next generations taking over, there is a clear shift occurring in relation to drug consumption – at least when we’re talking about cannabis.
What did Gallop Find?
Roughly 50-years ago, only 4% of Americans said that they had tried cannabis. In the 1970s, roughly 20% of Americans had smoked marijuana. In the 1980s it raised to 30% and by 2015 it hit 40%.
It needs to be clarified “have tried” doesn’t mean “is currently consuming”. It simply means that at some point in their lives – probably more recently – have they tried cannabis.
For people who say that currently “smoke” cannabis the poll found only 12% are active consumers. This has been a consistent factor for the past few years.
Gallop did find “generational patterns”
The oldest Americans living today, those born before 1945 whom Gallup calls “traditionalists,” are much less likely than those in other birth cohorts to have tried marijuana, with just 19% saying they have done so. That compares with about half of millennials (51%), Generation Xers (49%) and baby boomers (50%). – SOURCE GALLOP
Gallop also found that Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have been consistent with their cannabis consumption since the 1980s. It makes sense since cannabis is actively embedded within the counter-culture stemming from these generations.
However, it’s the younger generations that are growing up now – in a world with cannabis products packaged and in all different shapes and flavors. They are now the ones that are beginning to affect the polls in a significant way.
For example, roughly 20% of millennials smoke marijuana, whereas only 11% of Gen Xers and 9% of Baby Boomers do.
Here are some other interesting stats from the poll:
Sixteen percent of men, versus 9% of women, smoke marijuana.
Just 3% of Americans who attend religious services weekly, and 6% who attend monthly, say they smoke marijuana. In contrast, 19% who seldom or never attend religious services do.
Twenty-two percent of political liberals and 15% of Democrats regularly use marijuana, compared with 6% of conservatives and 7% of Republicans.
The rate of marijuana consumption is 5% among those with a postgraduate education, compared with 14% of those with a four-year college degree or less.
According to Gallop, cannabis consumption will probably top off at about 50%, meaning that 1 in 2 people have tried cannabis.
This means that virtually everyone you know could be a cannabis smoker.
It seems that America has decided and it wants weed!
If you’re reading this you’ve made it to the tipping point. We’ve reached a point where cannabis has become so common that 1 in 2 people have tried it.
America is ready for full-scale national cannabis, and it seems that the government is preparing to adapt to the “new normal”. Obviously, with full intent on getting as much money from the equation as possible.
Nonetheless, when you’re reading the signs it’s painfully obvious that even though the acting administration aims to maintain their “no on cannabis” policy, there’s simply too much support from all sides that at one point in time – they’ll have to tap out.
At this point in time there is more money to be made from legal cannabis than there is to be made from prohibition and when you live in a capital-first nation – money always win!
Which brings us to the average cannabis consumer – the current 12% of regulars. Who are they? These are the core group of individuals sustaining the culture of cannabis. That is roughly 1 in 10.
These people could be anyone. A friend, a brother or sister, mother or father. From any profession, from any walk of life.
This is the point of this article, to show you that while some people may choose to consume cannabis, there is no defining characteristic. People of all walks consume cannabis and to try to typecast consumers is to ignore the multicultural appeal of the plant.
The Sticky Bottom Line
We’re entering into a new paradigm where these mind-altering substance, once touted as the greatest evils – are stepping into center stage ready to show the world what they’re made of.
As a psychonaut myself – I have experimented with many of the drugs they are currently testing in labs all over the world and I believe that when these drugs are going to become commercially available – we’ll be undergoing some kind of neo-renaissance.
I don’t believe there will be mass adoption of these drugs as we can see with the Gallop Poll. Roughly, 1 in 10 is a psychonaut of sort – but this is more than enough to influence the cultural zeitgeist.
Just take a look at the “cannabis effect” – where, no matter how the government tried to frame the plant – people still chose weed.
There is something about the psychoactive effect of cannabis that continues to call people – like an invitation to commune with the world on an alternate frequency.
When psychedelics reach the same level of adoption as cannabis – in that 12% of the population consumes it regularly – we will begin to see a change in all social sectors, from the arts to the hard sciences.
This gallop poll was the sign you’ve been looking for – the cannabis tipping point has been reached!
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