A survey released on Tuesday by The Partnership at Drugfree.org—a nonprofit antidrug advocacy group—appears to reflect the growing acceptance of marijuana use in America, particularly for medical use.
The survey was conducted online through a partnership between the nonprofit organization and an advertising agency. A total of 1,602 adults were surveyed, of which about 1,200 were parents of children between the ages of 10 and 19. It concluded that about 70 percent of respondents favor medical marijuana legalization, 52 percent favor marijuana decriminalization, and 42 percent support marijuana legalization for recreational use. Support for the three legalization scenarios increased from between 3 and 11 percent when respondents were provided with information clarifying the details of the three scenarios.
“The reality is that marijuana is now legalized for recreational use in the states of Colorado and Washington and it’s clear that society’s views on marijuana are evolving dramatically,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. However, respondents, particularly parents, appeared to be vehement in their views of both marijuana advertising and usage in teens and children, with 80 percent of parental participants expressing that they would support a ban of marijuana advertising and 85 percent responding that marijuana could have negative effects on teen development.
“The data bring to life the fact that parents—including the large number who favor legalization—have serious expectations that legal marijuana will be regulated and restricted to protect kids and teens,” Pasierb continued, warning that “those expectations far exceed how legal marijuana is being implemented.”
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The results of the study reflect the upward swing in acceptance of marijuana in the United States seen in recent years—a fact that has become undeniable, even by antidrug advocates such as The Partnership at Drugfree.org. “This is a classic repositioning move from advocates who know they’ve badly lost an argument with the American people,” Tom Angell, founder and chairman of marijuana reform organization Marijuana Majority, said in an e-mail. “It’s great to see the Partnership conceding that marijuana legalization is no longer a matter of if and that they key question is how marijuana will be regulated in the post-prohibition era.”
Marijuana is currently legal for medical use in 18 states and Washington, D.C., and for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington State.