Several states in the United States have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Some have even legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while others are now in the process of legalizing marijuana one way or the other.
This is not exactly surprising because research has found that since 2013, more and more Americans are expressing their support for marijuana. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research, 57% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana in 2016 while 37% say that it should remain illegal. That has completely reversed the trend seen just 10 years before where 60% of Americans said that marijuana should be illegal while only 32% were in favor of legalizing it.
That is simply a world away from the attitudes towards marijuana legalization that was prevalent in 1969, when 84% of Americans said that marijuana should be illegal while only 12% said that it should be legal.
The study also shows that:
- Young adults are instrumental in driving this change of attitudes towards marijuana.
- A majority of people from age 18 to 70, support marijuana legalization.
- Men are more supportive of marijuana legalization than women are.
Find out more when you view the entire infographic:
The Pew Research Center survey was conducted from August 2 to September 2, 2016. It polled 1,201 American adults. The latest results reiterate Pew’s first findings in 2013 where attitudes towards marijuana were first shown to have shifted in favor of legalization after four decades.
This trend is expected to continue as more and more studies are done on the benefits of marijuana for certain medical conditions are conducted. There are simply too many benefits to ignore. In addition, there is also mounting evidence that marijuana is not as bad for the body as initially thought. Further, studies also show that marijuana use does not really predispose a person to do hard drugs: in short, it is not a gateway drug.