One-third of Americans say they have smoked marijuana

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
April 20, 2021, 1:15 PM UTC

Recreational marijuana laws are becoming increasingly accepted at the state-level, with 16 states and Washington, D.C. legalizing it for adults. 

An Economist/YouGov poll shows that one-third of US adults say that they have smoked marijuana (33%). Those who live in the West (39%) — where more states have legalized recreational use — are slightly more likely than those who live in the Northeast (34%), Midwest (30%), or South (30%), to say they have smoked a joint.

One-quarter (23%) of Americans have eaten cannabis-infused food, such as baked goods, chocolates, or snacks. Around one in 7 adults (15%) say they have vaped cannabis, which involves inhaling heated oil through a vaporizing device. One in eight (12%) have used topical cannabis body products, such as lotions, sprays, or oils. One in nine Americans (9%) say they have consumed marijuana via a concentrated pill or lozenge. 

Americans between the ages of 30 to 44 are more likely to have consumed cannabis overall when compared to older and younger adults. People in this age group are especially likely to have taken an edible (31%), vaped marijuana (25%), or consumed cannabis via a concentrate (19%).  

One in five adults under 30 (20%) have vaped or dabbed marijuana, compared to 11% of 45-to 64-year-olds and 6% of senior citizens. 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov poll 

Related: Six in 10 Americans would legalize marijuana nationally 

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between April 3 - 6, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.8% for the overall sample  

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