Eighty-five percent of Americans believe that marijuana “should be legalized for medical use,” and 57 percent of respondents endorse regulating it for anyone over the age of 21, according to national survey data compiled Harris Insight & Analytics.
Among younger respondents (those ages 18 to 44), 68 percent agree that cannabis should be legal. Most respondents (57 percent) say that legalizing the plant would “help alleviate the opioid crisis.”
Data evaluating prescription drug use trends among individual patients enrolled in state-licensed medical marijuana programs reports that chronic pain subjects frequently reduce or eliminate their use of opioids following enrollment.
“Voters believe that ending America’s failed marijuana prohibition laws is a common-sense issue, not a partisan one,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano told HealthDay, which commissioned the poll. “It’s time for their elected officials to take a similar posture, and to move expeditiously to amend federal law in a manner that comports with public and scientific consensus, as well as with marijuana’s rapidly changing cultural and legal status.”
Reasons provided by those who opposed legalization included fear of diversion and concerns that legalization could negatively impact traffic safety.
The Harris polling data is largely consistent with those of prior surveys finding that a majority of Americans back adult use legalization and that a super-majority of voters support medicinal cannabis access.
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Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director