Influence

 the shape of leadership

Nearly Half of Americans Have Tried Marijuana

Support for the drug is on the rise

Influence Magazine on July 21, 2017

Some 45 percent of U.S. adults now say they’ve tried marijuana, a new Gallup poll reports. This represents the highest percentage recorded since pollsters started asking the question in 1969; that year, just 4 percent said they had smoked pot.

In a separate question, 12 percent of respondents said they currently smoke marijuana, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2013.

In recent years, laws regulating marijuana have relaxed in many parts of the country, with 29 states now allowing medical use and eight permitting recreational use. According to Forbes magazine, the legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016, with sales expected to more than triple by 2020.

“Cannabis is popular because it numbs the brain’s receptors and distorts reality,”          — Joseph Batluck

A Gallup poll last year found that a majority of Americans — 60 percent — favor legalizing marijuana, up from just 12 percent in 1969.

If more states legalize the drug, regular usage — or at least experimenting with marijuana — could rise,” the Gallup report concludes. “Legality may confer a certain societal acceptance of the drug.”

Young adults from ages 18 to 29 and those in the lowest income bracket (earning less than $30,000 annually) are most likely to say they currently smoke marijuana. In addition, nearly twice as many men as women are current users.

Joseph Batluck, president of Teen Challenge USA, says Christians must reject the use of mind-altering substances like marijuana, regardless of changes in laws or cultural attitudes.

“Cannabis is popular because it numbs the brain’s receptors and distorts reality,” Batluck says. “The Christian’s perspective should always be to see God and live in a clear, efficient and impacting way. Distorting reality, through the use of chemicals, is not an option for those who belong to Christ. Rather, we are called to reflect the Lord’s majesty.”
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