According to a new study by Student Money Saver, many young people believe medical and recreational marijuana should be legalized.
The organization presented a questionnaire, to 1,000 individuals from the age of 18 to 30, that surveyed the attitude and use of alcohol and drugs. More than half (52.4 percent) of the participants believe that cannabis should be legalized, but also 50.9 percent think tobacco should be illegal.
Despite this expressed opinion, regular marijuana use is still relatively low when compared to tobacco or alcohol. Over 40 percent acknowledged trying the plant, but only 12.5 percent regularly use it. In comparison, 93.5 percent of responders have tried alcohol and 58.8 percent have tried tobacco. Regular use of alcohol and tobacco were 73.8 percent and 23.0 percent respectively.
The survey found that over 51 percent of the young people surveyed knew someone with a drug or alcohol problem. One teen expressed the belief that the legalization of tobacco and alcohol is hypocritical because they are as bad and possibly worse than other substances.
James Felton, a representative of the Student Money Saver, stated:
“The trend continues that the young are using drugs and alcohol less and less, and yet have more liberal attitudes towards their use… The young are more informed than most of society on drugs, and eventually their informed views will lead to better drug policies.”
Perhaps the most worrying fact from the survey is the percentage of youngsters who consume intoxicants alone. Over 40 percent admitted to drinking alone, and 63 percent have blacked out in the last year due to drugs and/or alcohol.
Except for most notably the Netherlands and North Korea, most countries prohibit the sale, growth and production of cannabis, though many are beginning to decriminalize the plant. In the United States, the support for medical cannabis has grown, and even recreational use has been approved in some states such as Washington and Colorado. According to the survey, it is likely the public opinion will continue to move towards cannabis legalization.