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New High: Nearly Half of Americans Have Tried Pot, Gallup Poll Says

A farmer planting his marijuana crop.
(Image credit: Eric Limon/Shutterstock)

The percentage of Americans who say they've tried pot has reached a new high.

In a new poll from Gallup, 45 percent of U.S. adults said they had tried marijuana at least once in their lives. That's the highest percentage in the history of the yearly poll, which started in 1969, Gallup said. Last year, 43 percent of Americans said they had tried pot at least once.

There's also been a rise in the percentage of Americans who currently smoke pot. This year, 12 percent of American said they currently smoke marijuana, up from 7 percent in 2013.

Adults in the poll were more likely to be current marijuana smokers if they were male, under age 29 and had an annual income of less than $30,000 a year, Gallup said. [Healing Herb? Marijuana Could Treat These 5 Conditions]

The increase in both people who have ever used marijuana and those who currently use it follows the growing trend of legalization of the drug. Currently, eight states have laws permitting the recreational use of marijuana, and the residents of those states make up one-fifth of the U.S. population. In addition, 29 states allow people to use marijuana for medical reasons. Legalization may confer a greater societal acceptance of the drug, Gallup said.

The poll findings, which are based on interviews with 1,021 adults ages 18 and older living in all 50 states, took place from July 5 to 9.

Original article on Live Science.

Rachael Rettner

Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.