A new Gallup poll shows that Americans are confused when it comes to cannabis and its effect on society. Results show that 49% of Americans consider cannabis to be a positive influence, while half (50%) consider it negative. When discussing marijuana’s effect on consumers, more than half (53%) of those polled consider it positive while 45% of them consider it negative.
The results were shared this week and show that marijuana consumers are more likely to have positive opinions of the drug, and that young adults are increasing in consumption numbers.
A deeper look at the results shows that opinions are largely based on whether or not those polled are marijuana users themselves. Adults who said they’ve tried marijuana (50% of them) believe the drug to be positive on users and society at large. Adults who haven’t tried marijuana tend to be more conservative, thinking the drug has negative effects.
Despite people’s personal opinions on the drug and its effects, the majority of people believe cannabis should be legalized. And even if they don’t think the drug is a positive influence on society or on individuals, cannabis is seen in a more positive light than alcohol.
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Other interesting facts include an expected increase in marijuana experimentation and larger numbers of regular consumers of the drug, which stand at 16% and is the highest record yet. Marijuana consumers tend to be marijuana smokers, with 57% of them claiming to also consume edibles.
When discussing specifics like gender and age, men are more likely to say they’ve experimented with marijuana but cannabis consumers are split evenly between men and women. The age group that consumes the most marijuana is those aged 18 to 34. In terms of education level, adults with a college degree are as likely to consume cannabis as those who don’t have a degree. In the case of political parties, Republicans are less likely to consume cannabis when compared to Democrats.
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While marijuana’s acceptance in society has been steadily improving, the laws that regulate it move slowly and are out of step. The fact that marijuana is illegal on a federal level is something that surprises people who are young and who live in states that have legal programs in place.