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One in Eight Americans Admit Using Cannabis

Aug 09, 2016 01:57PM ● By Leland Rucker

A recent Gallup sampling found that 13 percent of Americans, or one in eight, say they are cannabis users. That comes to 42 million people. And it found that 43 percent of adults, or 138 million, admit they have tried it.

That’s nearly double the percentage (7 percent) that Gallup found in 2013. Given that the sample was small (1,023 out of approximately 323 million Americans), let’s not infer too much here. The main reason for the increase is pretty obvious. Cannabis is legal recreationally in four states and the District of Columbia, and legal as medicine in almost half the states since the last poll was taken. People are more apt to fess up to using cannabis now that they can’t be arrested or hassled for saying it. It’s certainly true in my case.

But I’m also fairly certain that prohibition groups like Smart Colorado and Smart Approaches to Marijuana will be spinning the news that the higher numbers indicate that legalization is turning us into a nation of pot addicts that must be stopped at all costs.

It also reminds us that despite the enormous amount of money being spent by the DEA (some estimates say it’s more than a trillion dollars so far) to eradicate cannabis, the Drug War simply hasn’t and doesn’t work. Forty two million Americans have decided that they will use cannabis despite the government’s ban. 

Except for the current administration’s reluctance to interfere with states that have legalized, that basic position hasn’t changed since Richard Nixon declared war on cannabis and those who use it 44 years ago, and no matter how many more trillions are spent, it’s not going to keep any American from using cannabis. Too bad too many of our representatives in Congress can’t seem to grasp that. Government waste? Begin right here.