According to a recent Gallup poll, more than twice as many U.S. citizens believe that marijuana has a beneficial effect on its consumers and society at large as those who hold the same view regarding alcohol.
Even more illuminating is the fact that those who have tried cannabis are much more prone to praise its benefits than alcoholics.
The results of the poll on marijuana use and its effects showed that Americans are split down the middle on several issues. 53% of people said marijuana has a “positive” effect on them as consumers (45% said it had a negative effect), and 49% said it has positive social effects (compared to 50 percent with the opposite view).
Of course, unlike alcohol, marijuana is still against the law on a federal level.
That’s why it’s striking that only 27% of respondents indicated they think alcohol is healthy for the drinker, and only 23% said they think it’s good for society. Seventy-one percent of Americans feel alcohol is unhealthy for most people who drink it, and 75 percent say it is negative for society as a whole.
This is in line with the findings of a different study conducted in the United States and published in March, which revealed that a majority of respondents believed it would be beneficial for people to substitute cannabis for alcohol and reduce their alcohol consumption.
Another fascinating distinction in how the two substances are seen is revealed by the Gallup poll, which was issued in two waves on Tuesday and earlier this month. Seventy percent of marijuana users and sixty-six percent of marijuana non-users agree that marijuana has good effects on both the user and society (32 percent and 27 percent, respectively).
Some 35% of those who don’t partake in cannabis regularly defended its benefits to users, while 27% defended its value to the community at large. Only 14% of people who don’t drink alcohol think it’s good for drinkers or society.
Data reveals that many still think marijuana is the better option, even though alcohol is legal and socially acceptable in the United States whereas cannabis is illegal and often stigmatised. Even regular drinkers don’t see alcohol’s benefits as outweighing the negatives.
Interestingly, a second Gallup survey from 2020 found that 86% of Americans consider the use of alcohol to be morally acceptable, while just 70% made the same claim regarding marijuana.
Some new and interesting facts were added in the latest cannabis poll. Examples include the finding that 48% of US adults having tried marijuana at least once. For the first time, Gallup polled people on their edible use and found that 14% of US adults partake. Only 16% of people polled stated they never used marijuana.
There is, of course, a wide range of viewpoints on the effects of marijuana on both individuals and society as a whole, with some of the latter holding the view that marijuana use should not be criminalised even if it is not socially acceptable. For instance, 68% of American adults agreed with the statement “legalisation should happen” in a Gallup poll conducted at the end of last year.
According to Gallup, “what medical and other research studies demonstrate is the influence of the substance on users and society at large may be partly responsible for the future of marijuana legalisation, at both the federal and state levels.” However, “young people’s greater tolerance may be destined to win in the long run” because of their increased familiarity with marijuana.
“For the time being, Americans can be generally categorised as advocates or opponents of the medication,” it stated.
From July 5th to the 26th, Gallup polled 1,013 American adults with these questions. Plus or minus four percentage points is the error range.
Meanwhile, despite negative public opinion, regulated marketplaces in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal appear to be attracting more mature users. In places like Arizona, Illinois, and Massachusetts, cannabis sales tax revenue has recently outpaced alcohol tax revenue for specific months.