Attitudes in America continue to shift in favor of cannabis legalization, as reflected in a study published Wednesday. The Pew Research Center released a poll that showed 57 percent of American adults said cannabis should be legalized, while only 37 percent believed it should remain illegal.
Just 10 years ago, the opinions were the opposite with about 32 percent in favor for cannabis legalization and 60 percent in opposition. The acceptance of cannabis consumption for adults in the United States is largely in part to the various states that have legalized the plant for medical and/or recreational purposes.
The regulated cannabis markets across 25 states and the District of Columbia have led to countless patient success stories and positive research toward the medical benefits of cannabis. Even conservative states that have yet to set up a medical cannabis program have started to allow cannabidiol (CBD) oil for patients with qualifying conditions.
While the support comes extremely strong from millennials ages 18 to 35, support for legalization comes from individuals of all ages groups. The support from this group of young adults is twice as high as it was in 2006, climbing from 34 percent to 71 percent in favor of cannabis legalization. Although not as high as millennials, the support from middle aged and senior groups has also risen. The study shows that 57 percent of Generation X, which are adults ages 36 to 51, approve of legalization. In 1990, only 21 percent of this group supported cannabis legalization. Fifty-six percent of Baby Boomers, which are adults ages 52 to 70 support legalizing the plant, which is a dramatic increase of just 17 percent in 1990.
The study also pointed to differences between those who favor and oppose legalization, which included gender, race, education and political affiliation. It wasn’t a surprise that 78 percent of liberal democrats were in favor of legalizing cannabis, while only 33 percent of conservative republicans were pro-cannabis.
With the growing acceptance of cannabis becoming hard to ignore, it will be interesting to see if the nine states who have cannabis legalization on the ballot will vote for or against cannabis.