What Do Most Americans Think About Cannabis?
Long story short, most Americans are supportive of cannabis – and its legalization. But what are the hard facts?
Let’s discuss them here and now.
American Opinion on Cannabis
Since just 23 states permit citizen-initiated ballot initiatives, the primary way to reform cannabis laws is through legislative action. However, the overwhelming support for the plant is easy to see.
A 2018 poll showed that 66 percent of Americans supported legalizing marijuana use. And that doesn’t even take into account the number of Americans who support medical marijuana legalization. A Gallup poll found that 68% of Americans support legal marijuana, which was an all-time high.
Thus, many people – myself included – believe federal decriminalization is coming. The real question is ‘when?’
The incredible American support for cannabis is encouraging lawmakers to act. Constituents are pushing them to act rationally – and humanely – by introducing marijuana policies. So, the American opinion as it pertains to cannabis is positive and leading the way to an end to cannabis prohibition.
American Cannabis Support Pushing Lawmaker Action
Over the last year, dozens of bills have been initiated to support the cannabis sector. Most notably, Governor Ralph Northam was sent twin legalization bills from the Virginia General Assembly. These bills will either be signed as they are, or Governor Northam will formally recommend amendments.
As most of us know, cannabis was deemed essential during the pandemic. Despite hundreds of thousands of arrests happening every year, the essential status of this sector shows the country’s need to decriminalize. But the growing adult-use market across the country supports legalization.
The following states all have bills to create comprehensive medical cannabis programs:
- South Carolina
This list doesn’t include the thirty-six states, D.C., Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virginia Islands, and Puerto Rico, which all have effective medical marijuana laws in place.
Georgia, Iowa, and Texas have also implemented laws to regulate access to cannabis. This includes low-THC medical cannabis preparations.
COVID-19 has Shaped Recreational Cannabis
While cannabis is still taboo to some, many legislators have changed their stance in the wake of the pandemic. COVID-19 has accelerated adult-use cannabis product sales in the U.S., with many states and regions that formerly prohibited the industry now welcoming the additional tax dollars.
The spark that ignited recreational cannabis in the U.S. now has legal cannabis sales expecting to reach $39.1 billion by 2025. Adult-use cannabis sales should grow at a rate of 144% from 2020 to 2025, which is a projection based on many U.S. states legalizing cannabis recreationally.
Prohibition Partners believes that, despite its importance, the medical cannabis sector will not experience as much growth. With existing medical cannabis programs demanding intense regulations that control patient and supplier access, the medical industry is being bottlenecked. Most of the expected growth in medical cannabis is solely based on the idea that more U.S. states will adopt medical cannabis programs.
As of January 2021, 12 U.S. states have legalized adult-use cannabis, along with medical-use cannabis, for people over the age of 21. These states include California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Colorado, Nevada, Michigan, Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Arizona. The District of Columbia has also legalized adult-use cannabis.
Other Notable Happenings Showing American Cannabis Support
Michigan, in particular, has been showing impressive support for legalization. The state has also outlined cannabis laws and legality for 2021. And let’s not forget, those looking to start a cannabis business in Michigan can start the process now.
Looking at how things have progressed for the cannabis sector, the time states are taking to go from medical legalization to selling cannabis recreationally has drastically decreased. Marijuana Business Daily reported that while California took 7,308 days to go from medical to recreational sales, Massachusetts took only 1,463.
Cannabis business licensing in New Jersey is also now a possibility. The state recently voted to legalize cannabis, and now the Garden State expects to make progress of its own in this budding sector.
What Do Most Americans Think About Cannabis?
So what do most Americans think about cannabis? They support it.
While we have some people and groups working against the cannabis sector, we can expect this industry to continue its growth, despite the naysayers. As more Americans show their support for positive cannabis legislative change, lawmakers will have to appease them.
As an American, what do you think about cannabis? Do you believe adult-use cannabis should be legal everywhere for people 21 years or older? Are you for increasingly medical cannabis accessibility for patients?