There has been a big shift in the way people view cannabis over the last couple decades – and more people than ever are in support of both medical and recreational legalization of the plant. Polls are showing that as many as 93% of Americans are in favor of making medical cannabis available to patients who need it, and around 57% of people are now in favor of allowing recreational legalization as an alternative to prohibition and the war on drugs.
This latest report shows results that are no different. Conducted by DIG Insights, the first annual Cannabis Culture Report was released this week and its findings are that a majority are in favor of legalization, and that around 22% of Americans have used recreational cannabis in the last year. They also found that an additional 24% of U.S. citizens would likely consume cannabis in some form if it were legal where they lived – meaning around 46% of the U.S. would happily consume cannabis as a way to kick back and relax if the government didn’t forbid it.
Most interesting, however, is how the attitude towards the perceived dangers of cannabis – especially in comparison to other substances – have changed over the years. In the report, DIG Insights states that only 16% of Americans view marijuana as “very harmful”, compared to the 27% who believe that alcohol was harmful. To further compare how dangerous we think cannabis is, 33% said saturated fat was “very harmful”, and 23% view sugar as harmful – so the years of activists spreading the truth about cannabis has convinced people it’s safer than alcohol, sugar, and saturated fat!
“That was particularly interesting to us, just to see that a higher percentage of Americans think alcohol is very harmful compared to marijuana,” Rory McGee, research director for DIG Insights, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We’re certainly not commenting on what is and is not harmful, but those are the attitudes in America. It was also very interesting that people thought processed sugar and saturated fats are more harmful than marijuana.”
The study also found that 51% of people in the U.S. believe that consuming cannabis does have some benefit to the users, and that 54% of those who have consumed cannabis in the last year have tried edibles (though smoking is still the preferred method of consumption). They also found out that older people were more likely to mix alcohol and marijuana, while younger consumers are more likely to stick to one or the other. Overall, it appears that the years of pro-legalization campaigns are spreading the truth about cannabis and finally beginning to overrule government lies with facts presented by researchers around the world, and cannabis is finally on the way to getting the positive reputation it deserves.