Should marijuana be legal for medical, recreational use? What Americans say

Apr13,2024



As the legal landscape for marijuana continues to change in the US, many states are legalizing it for medical or recreational use, Pew Research Center New findings have been released on Americans' attitude and experience with marijuana.
Here's an overview of the key findings:
High support for legalization: Nearly 90% of Americans believe marijuana should be legal in some form, either for medical use only (32%) or for both medical and recreational use (57%). Only 11% believe it should not be legal at all. This sentiment has remained relatively stable over the past five years.
key findings:
Demographic differences in views of legalization:
Age: Support is lowest for those 75 and older, with only 31% supporting legalization for both medical and recreational use. This is in contrast to 71% of people under 30.
Political affiliation: 42% of Republicans support full legalization, while 72% of Democrats. More conservative individuals within both groups are less likely to support them.
Race and ethnicity: Hispanic and Asian Americans show less support (45% each) than black (65%) and white (59%) adults.
General support is increasing: Support for legalization has increased over two decades. In 2023, 70% supported legalization, up from about 30% in 2000.
usage trends: 50.3% of American adults have used marijuana at least once, although only 23% had used it in the past year and 15.9% in the past month.
Estimated Effects of Legalization:
Economic: 52% consider legalization economically beneficial, 17% disagree, and 29% see no impact.
Criminal Justice: 42% believe legalization makes the criminal justice system fairer, 18% see negative effects, and 40% see no change.
Drug use: 27% believe legalization reduces the use of drugs like heroin, while 29% believe it increases it, and 42% see no effect.
Community safety: 21% say it increases safety, 34% disagree, and 44% see no impact.
Support for reduced penalties: Two-thirds of adults favor releasing people jailed only for marijuana possession, and 61% support removing these crimes from criminal records.
State legalization status: As of March 2024, 24 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
This research highlights the complex and evolving relationship between American society and marijuana as legal and social perceptions continue to change.



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