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More than half of American adults — or 52 percent — have smoked pot, according to a new Marist Poll that was conducted in partnership with Yahoo! News.
And in a sign that marijuana is becoming more socially acceptable, the poll also found that nearly half — or 47 percent — of parents who smoke weed at least once or twice a year have consumed marijuana in front of their (predominantly grown) children, shared it with them or done both. Meanwhile, more than 1 in 4 pot users say they’ve smoked in front of or with their own parents.
There’s no doubt that families are becoming more open about their use of pot at the same time more states are making it legal. Today 28 states have laws allowing the use of medicinal marijuana, while eight states plus Washington, D.C., have laws legalizing recreational use of the drug to various extents. However, the drug remains illegal under U.S. federal law.
On the global stage, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation on April 13, 2017 that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Canada. If passed as expected, Canada would become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to legalize marijuana as a consumer product.
Across the board, the Yahoo News/Marist Poll shows that Americans who have at least tried marijuana are a lot more likely to be accepting of the drug as part of their family life than those who’ve never touched it.
Other key findings from the study:
- Americans in general, including parents, believe 20 to be the age at which someone is old enough to decide whether or not to use marijuana. Marijuana users think the appropriate age is 17.
- When asked to think as a parent, only about one-fifth of Americans cite marijuana use as their top concern when it comes to their children. Instead, their main worry is smoking cigarettes (24 percent), followed by using marijuana (21 percent), drinking alcohol (21 percent), having sex (17 percent) and cheating on a test (12 percent).
- Among Americans who have either tried pot or currently use it, marijuana use ranks last on their list of concerns: 11 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
- When it comes to parents in general, 50 percent find marijuana use to be socially acceptable. However, among parents who use marijuana, 75 percent see it as socially acceptable.
- Sixty percent of parents who’ve tried pot think their kids would either approve of their recreational pot use or wouldn’t care.
Although this poll and other polls prove there’s been a gradual shift in attitudes over the years in favor of pot use, a clear division remains when it comes to the legalization of recreational marijuana.
While 8 in 10 Americans strongly support legalizing medical marijuana, 49 percent of American adults support legalization of recreational marijuana and 47 percent still oppose it.
The Yahoo! News/Marist Poll findings are based on a survey taken in March of 1,122 Americans 18 and older.