What Your Politics and Age Indicate About Whether You Smoke Marijuana

A new analysis from Gallup shows that who you vote for may be a pretty good indicator of whether you smoke marijuana. That’s not shocking, but the disparity between those on the left and those on the right was significant.

The Gallup research found that liberals are six times as likely to smoke marijuana than conservatives and twice as likely as moderates.

Based on a survey conducted in 2019, the new Gallup research found that 24% of those who said they smoke marijuana were liberal, while 12% were moderates and just 4% were conservatives.

That wasn’t the only place where there were clear divisions, with Gallup reporting that the survey “found that the likelihood to smoke marijuana varies significantly by gender, age and political ideology.”

It should be noted, however, that the statistics looked at “smoking marijuana.” These results likely have little to do with edibles or (especially) the many CBD products now on the market.

All the statistics used in the analysis by Gallup came in response to this question: “Keeping in mind that your answers are confidential, do you, yourself, smoke marijuana?”

What the Research Found

The statistics from Gallup offered an in-depth look at where divisions lie when it comes to marijuana. Some of the notable differences between marijuana users and those who do not use marijuana were in the following areas.

Men vs. women. Men are quite a bit more likely to smoke marijuana than women, with 15% of men saying they smoke marijuana and only 9% of women saying the same.

Age differences. Those who are in the 18 to 29 year old age group were twice as likely to smoke marijuana as the next nearest age group. The percentage of respondents who said they use marijuana within each age group where:

  • 18 to 19 – 22%
  • 30-49 – 11%
  • 50-64 – 12%
  • 65 and over – 3%

By race. The percentage of white people who smoked marijuana (14%) was higher than the percentage of non-whites (9%).

Geography Also Played a Role

It’s also not surprising to see a difference based on geography, given that marijuana legalization started as a west coast movement and has slowly made its way to the east. But again, the gap is perhaps larger than you might expect.

According to Gallup, someone living in the West is more than twice as likely to smoke marijuana than someone living in the South.

The percentage of respondents who said they have smoked marijuana, broken down by region within the United States, were:

  • West – 16%
  • East – 15%
  • Midwest – 13%
  • South – 7%

That fits into what has happened with legalization. Only two states in the Midwest (Illinois and Michigan) and two states in the East (Massachusetts and Maine) have legalized adult-use marijuana, while Alaska, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have all done so in the West. No states have legalized adult-use marijuana in the South.

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