Poll: Most Americans Don’t Care Who Uses Marijuana

By Tom Angell | April 17, 2017

Athletes, celebrities, doctors and even school teachers. A new poll finds that most Americans just don’t care whether these people choose to consume cannabis in the privacy of their own homes.

That’s among the interesting results of a new national survey released on Monday by Yahoo News and Marist College.

Overall, 56 percent of U.S. adults now think that marijuana use is socially acceptable.

The vast majority of Americans — 74 percent — say it makes no difference whether their favorite celebrity uses marijuana.

Sixty-eight percent don’t care if athletes use marijuana for personal use and 69 percent support sports players using cannabis to treat injuries.

When it comes to medical professionals, 58 percent of Americans are utterly unconcerned if their doctor uses cannabis.

More than half — 52 percent — percent say it would make no difference if they found out a cleric or religious leader used marijuana.

And 55 percent of Americans don’t even care if their children’s teachers use marijuana in their personal lives.

Those percentages don’t even take into account the additional survey respondents who said they’d have even more respect for various professionals who use marijuana.

Other results from the new survey of 1,122 American adults include:

  • 52 percent were willing to admit to pollsters that they have tried marijuana.
  • 41 percent prefer to consume cannabis with friends or people outside their families, while 31 percent like getting high alone.
  • 60 percent of parents who consume cannabis say their children are aware of their use, and 54 percent have spoken directly to their kids about it. Forty-seven percent say they’ve shared marijuana with their adult kids or used it in front of them.
  • 72 percent of adults who use marijuana say their parents know about it.
  • The most popular plash to stash marijuana is in a dresser drawer.
  • 76 percent think tobacco is more of a health risk than marijuana and 72 percent view alcohol as more of a health risk than cannabis.
  • When it comes to medicine, 67 percent see prescription opioids as more risky than medical cannabis.
  • 19 and a half years old is the average age at which Americans think people are old enough to make a decision about whether to use marijuana.
  • 83 percent support legalizing medical cannabis.
  • Americans are more divided on the question of recreation legalization: 49 percent support and 47 percent oppose. (Other recent polls from Gallup, Pew, Quinnipiac University and others have found clear majorities in support of legalization.)
  • 11 percent of regular marijuana users don’t support legalization.
  • 65 percent think the Trump administration should continue the Obama-era policy of generally respecting state marijuana laws or loosen up even further, while 30 percent want the new president to crack down harder.
  • 52 percent would approve of their bank investing in the marijuana industry.
  • 51 percent would support their retirement fund investing in cannabis businesses.

The survey was conducted on mobile and landline phones throughout the continental United States on March 1-7.

The full results are available here and an overview of select findings is here.

Tom Angell

Tom Angell is a senior political correspondent for MassRoots. A 15-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit Marijuana Majority and is editor of the daily Marijuana Moment newsletter.

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