9 in 10 Americans want cannabis to be legal, but comparatively few actually partake in it | Cannabis News | San Antonio

click to enlarge Support for legalizing cannabis has increased drastically over the past two decades, polls show. - Pexels / Shelby Ireland

Pexels / Shelby Ireland

Support for legalizing cannabis has increased drastically over the past two decades, polls show.

Americans overwhelmingly support cannabis being legal for medical or recreational use, and public support for legalization has skyrocketed over the past two decades, according to research newly compiled by the Pew Research Center.

Interestingly, however, fewer than half of Americans say they have ever used cannabis and a far smaller number partake in it regularly, according to Pew’s data roundup.

Those statistics and more are part of a recent examination of U.S. residents’ views on marijuana that Pew based on its own surveys and other sources.

With regard to the support for legal cannabis, about nine in 10 U.S. adults (88%) Pew contacted during an October 2022 study said they’re in favor. In the poll, 59% said the plant should be legal for both medical and recreational use, while 30% said it should be legal for medical use only.

Support for legalizing pot has also gone up substantially since 2000, Pew found. In 2019, the last time its researchers conducted a poll about legalizing marijuana use in general, two-thirds of respondents said they were all for it. That’s twice the percentage who were in favor of legalization in a Gallup poll 19 years prior.

While some might jump to the conclusion that the rising level of support means more Americans are toking, vaping or consuming gummies, let’s not jump to conclusions.

In its new data roundup, Pew cities a 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that fewer than half of U.S. adults (46%) say they have ever consumed cannabis. In contrast, 78% said they have consumed alcohol at least once and 57% said they have tried tobacco products.

The survey also found that even fewer Americans currently partake in the devil’s lettuce. Just 19% of those in that poll said they’d used cannabis in the past year, and only 13% said they’d done so in the past month.

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