Half Of Americans Say Cannabis Negatively Impacts Society, Why Then Do They Prefer It To Alcohol & Support Legalization?

Americans are divided on how they feel cannabis impacts society, with 49% saying its effects are positive and 50% negative, according to a new Gallup poll.

When it comes to how cannabis affects users, opinions are practically reversed, with 53% saying marijuana has positive impacts on consumers and 45% negative.

These results are somewhat unexpected considering that 68.7% of Americans think cannabis should be legal, as per Gallup's November poll.

Key Takeaways

  • A vast majority of adults who have tried cannabis (more than half of Americans) believe cannabis impacts on consumers (70%) and society in general (66%) are positive;
  • Similarly, the majority of those who have never tried it say they believe its effects are negative on both society (72%) and users (62%).
  • Similarly to previous years, around 48% confirmed that they have tried cannabis. This compares to 4% when Gallup first polled people on the subject in 1969, 24% in 1977, 33% in 1985 and 40% in 2015.
  • 16% reported they smoke weed, which is the highest Gallup ever recorded. 
  • For the first time Americans were asked if they consume cannabis edibles, and 14% said they do. 
  • The highest usage rates belong to the 18-34 age group, out of which 30% smoke cannabis, and 22% are consuming edibles.
  • When it comes to education, it looks like it doesn’t play an important role. Those with a college degree are as likely as those without it to have tried cannabis or to use it currently.
  • Democrats and Independents confirm similar rates of cannabis use, while Republicans are less likely to either smoke, ingest or to have tried it.

Americans seem to agree on one thing though – that cannabis is healthier than alcohol, as previous surveys revealed. Per the new poll, 75% of Americans think alcohol negatively affects society and 71% that is bad for consumers.

Photo: Benzinga Edit; Source: Shutterstock

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