HomeNewsSupport For Legal Marijuana In The USA Still Strong

Support For Legal Marijuana In The USA Still Strong

A new survey reveals attitudes among American adults on the legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes have altered little in recent years.

Medical cannabis has been legalized in 40 US states and the District of Columbia, while recreational/adult-use of marijuana has been approved in the District of Columbia and 24 states (Source). According to Pew Research Center, 74% of Americans are living in a state where marijuana is legal for either recreational or medical use, and  54% reside in states where the recreational use of marijuana is legal.

Given the broad coverage, how have views evolved on legalizing marijuana? According to Pew, opinions have changed little over the past five years.

A Pew Research Center survey conducted January 16-21 this year among 5,140 adults found 88% of Americans believe marijuana should be legal for medical or recreational use. 57% said marijuana should be legal for medical *and* recreational purposes, while 32% stated marijuana should be legal for medical use only. Only 11% say it should not be legal at all.

A similar survey run by Pew in late 2022 found 59% believed marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use by adults, and 30% said it should be legal for medical use only. In that survey, 10% said that marijuana use should not be legal.

Among other findings from Pew’s latest survey:

  • 52% say that legalizing recreational marijuana is good for local economies; while 17% thought it bad and 29% said it has no impact.
  • 42% say legalizing for recreational use makes the criminal justice system more fair, 18% less fair and 38% say it has no impact.
  • 34% say legalizing makes communities less safe, 21% said it makes them safer and 44% say it has no impact.
  • Republicans are more likely than Democrats to cite negatives from legalizing recreational marijuana.
  • Older adults are far less likely than younger adults to favor marijuana legalization for medical and recreational use, particularly among those 75 years or older.

Pew said the new survey was weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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