62% want legalized marijuana
62% want legalized marijuana

Why Do 6.2 Americans Out of 10 Now Want Cannabis Legalized?

New study shows 62% of Americans want legal marijuana

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Tuesday Oct 23, 2018

6 in 10 Now Support Cannabis Legalization

Most Americans support cannabis legalization, evident in the nationwide support reflected in many previous polls.

The latest poll from a Pew Research Center study revealed that 62% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legal. The responses were gathered from a telephone poll of 1,754 adults, and the results show the highest number ever when it comes to support for legalization, which is attributed to increased awareness of cannabis thanks to more states legalizing the drug for recreational purposes.


The results show just a 1% increase from Pew’s 2017 poll, although they say that despite the small change, the figures for legalization support have doubled since the turn of the millennium.


The Pew survey also showed that affinities for political parties influence whether one is pro or anti cannabis legalization. Support from Democrats is much higher than those of Republicans: 69% to 45%. Almost 7 in 10 Democrats are in favor for legalization, while 75% of left-leaning independents mirrored these figures. Additionally, 28% of Democrats think that recreational cannabis should be kept illegal.


Interestingly, the data shows that opinions vary in various generations; while millennials had the strongest support with 74% in favor of ending prohibition, the Gen X respondents were just at 63% while seniors/baby boomers were almost equally divided on the issue with just 54% in favor of ending prohibition. The so-called Silent Generation, where the youngest members will be turning 73 this year, showed the least support with only 39%.


In terms of education levels, college drop outs support cannabis legalization the most, at 67%. Over sixty percent of graduates and postgraduates are in favor, while individuals with a high school diploma or less support legalization while 4 out of 10 of them think that it should be kept illegal.


The results also show a division when it came to various religions; there was a divide between Protestant while mainliners showed the strongest support at 64%. The least favorable were the Evangelicals, while 52% of Catholics were in favor of legalization. Almost 8 in 10 people who were not affiliated with any kind of faith had the strongest support. 


The growing support for cannabis legalization may be due in part to the pushback against harsh criminal punishment. In 2014, a similar Pew survey revealed that 63% of Americans think that the states should no longer resort to harsh penalties for nonviolent drug crimes, while 67% think that drug policies should be focused on providing treatment for drug users instead of prosecuting them. 


“One of the greatest benchmarks of the success of legalization is the simple fact that public support for this policy change has only grown in the years since states began enacting it,” says NORML Deputy Director Paul Armetano. “The public has spoken and it is time for leaders in boht parties to come together and amend federal law in a manner that comports with marijuana’s rapidly changing cultural and legal status.”


Alcohol More Dangerous Than Cannabis

As legalization spreads throughout the country, public opinions will continue to change especially as more people learn about the health benefits of cannabis.


Even when it comes to vices, people are more aware that alcohol is actually a dangerous vice when compared to cannabis. While the two have been thought of as similar recreational substances, science shows that alcohol is far worse. A recent large-scale study revealed that among the 15-49 year old age group from around the world, alcohol has been shown to be the leading cause of death in 2016. The review, which was published in The Lancet medical journal, alcohol accounted for 3.8% of all female deaths and 12.2% of all male deaths.


The review analyzed data from almost 600 studies which included data taken from 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016. The researchers found that the more people consumed alcohol, no matter where in the world, they had a higher risk of cancer and dying. They then concluded that there was no such thing as a “safe” level of consuming alcohol.


“Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss,”’ they wrote.


In the United States alone, 30,722 people died from alcohol-related deaths in 2014. This doesn’t include homicides or other booze-related accidents, but if those were to be factored in, the figures would be nearer 90,000 deaths, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Why Do 6.2 out every 10 Americans Now Support Marijuana Legalization? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.








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