Cannabis Survey Results May Hint At The Future Of Legalization

People in states where cannabis is illegal consume cannabis at almost the same rate as people in legal states.

Grinder and kush iStock / Olena Bondarenko

The Stash, which covers cannabis news from across the world, polled people across the country to look at how their relationship with marijuana changes depending on cannabis’ legality in their states. The polling also looked at people’s personal opinions on the plant and gives a clue as to what the future of cannabis could be.

Rates Of Cannabis Consumption

When looking at how often people use cannabis, one of the standout facts is how close use percentages are in legal and non-legal states. Obviously, legal states are bound to have higher usage rates. However, a look at the numbers shows that the percentage of consumers who smoke at least once a week in legal states leads illegal states by only four percent.

how often people consume cannabis

Source: Wikileaf Survey Data

 

If you total the percentages of people who smoke at least once a week and people who smoke less than that but still consume, 51% of people polled who live in legal states consume cannabis, and 42% of people who live in illegal states still choose to consume. Our data indicates that while cannabis’ legal status does seem to have an effect on rates of consumption, it’s not as huge as an impact as one might initially think.

To put our numbers into perspective, a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 8.3 percent of people reported that they used marijuana at least during the month. According to our survey, that number has almost tripled.

Most People Recognize Opiates As The Most Dangerous Drug

Our survey also asked participants to rank a set of substances from most dangerous to least dangerous, with the options to rank alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and opiates.

substances ranked in order of danger

Source: Wikileaf Survey Data

The Stash found that people’s view on the dangers of marijuana are mostly friendly, with only around five to six percent of people believing the plant to be the most dangerous out of the choices (sounds like they need to read this article about the dangers of cannabis vs. opiates.

Both the order in which people believe the drugs are more dangerous and which are not are pretty equal for people in both legal and non-legal states. The margins between the answers from people in both legal and non-legal states were almost identical for most answers, with less than a five percent difference for both.

Those statistics point to a consensus that has been reached by people all across the country, not just in states where pot is legal. Views on the plant in states that do not have any form of recreational legalization are harsher on the drug, but not by much, meaning that if nationwide legalization were to occur, there probably won’t be a mass counter movement.

Does Marijuana Have Medicinal Benefits?

The question of whether or not cannabis has medicinal benefits is one of the more lopsided and surprising data points found, as more people outside of the recreational world believe that marijuana can be used medicinally.

cannabis medicinal benefits

Source: Wikileaf Survey Data

With a difference of around seven points, nearly half of people in non-legal states actively believe that marijuana can have medical benefits, with just under 40 percent believing the same in recreationally legal states. It’s hard to say why this difference in opinion exists between legal and non-legal states. 

Would You Use Cannabis To Treat Your Child?

Marijuana’s help in treating severe child seizures brought massive attention to the plant’s medical uses earlier this decade, with parents proclaiming the success they’ve seen in treating their children’s debilitating seizures with marijuana and CBD. The testimonies that came from parents were mostly positive and led many people to believe that marijuana has medical properties, which made it not as controversial.

likely to treat child with cannabis

Source: Wikileaf Survey Data

The idea that marijuana can do wonders for sick kids seems to still be prevalent, with around 40 percent of people saying that they would treat their child with cannabis, according to The Stash’s polling.

Similar to people’s overall thoughts on medical marijuana, participants in non-legal states are more likely to treat a child’s ailment with cannabis than those in legal states. Six percent less of participants in legal states said that they would do the same.

There isn’t a definitive answer to how and why people in recreationally legal states less likely to use marijuana in a medical capacity, but given the access, more people could be actually experimenting with the drug and changing people’s opinions.

The Stigma Surround Weed Is Fading

The stigma around marijuana is overall decreasing around the country, with attitudes toward the plant in our daily lives becoming much friendlier.

likelihood to tell family

Source: Wikileaf Survey Data

Even when it comes to telling family, The Stash found that just under half of people who consume cannabis (46%) are likely to tell their family that they use marijuana. About 21 percent of the people polled said they were probably not going to tell their family.

We surveyed 1000 people about cannabis across states where the plant is both legal and illegal, and the results were interesting. The percentage of people who consume cannabis at least once a week in legal states is only marginally higher than those who consume at the same rate in illegal states. Yet, those who consume in illegal states are more likely to use cannabis for medicinal purposes, even on their children. Even more surprising is that a higher percentage of people support cannabis legalization in illegal states than in those that have already recreationally legalized. While there are a number of factors that affect these statistics, one thing is for certain: the stigma surround cannabis is fading, and legalization is becoming less of an “if” and more of a “when.”

 

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