Public Responses to legalization of cannabis in US

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, two-thirds of the population in the US consider that the use of cannabis should be legal, showing a constant increase in cannabis consumption over the past decade. At the same time, out of 91%, 59% of US adults make declaration that cannabis consumption should be legalized for both medical and recreational purposes while 32% of adults say that its consumption should be legal only for medical purposes. While a very few population believe that cannabis should be illegal in all conditions. The results of the conducted survey concluded that the young adults are more likely in the favour of cannabis legalization for medical and recreational as compared to older adults. 

We can say that the public support for legalization of cannabis has appeared as a growing number for medical or recreational use/purposes. Overall, fifteen states as well as the District of Columbia have taken steps and legalized cannabis for recreational use while thirty-six states have accepted the proposals and legalized cannabis for medical purposes. 

Why Should Medical Cannabis be legal?

 Certain reasons to support the fact that cannabis must be made legal are:

  1. Effective in use than other drugs

In comparison to painkillers like (Morphine, Oxycodone), the MMJ has less side effects and overdosing is not harmful in comparison to prescribed drugs. So Medical cannabis involves high benefit and low risk.

  1. No expanded use even after Legalization

It has been observed that cannabis use in many states has not increased by the national average even after legalizing it throughout for medical use. Moreover, if a patient meets the certain criteria only then he can be qualified to get a prescription from a certified doctor. This constraint forbids people from using cannabis for wrong purposes.  

  1. Medical Advantages

Many studies have shown positive impacts of using cannabis as it is immensely useful in treating depression, anxiety, insomnia and even cancer to some extent.

Most Common Public Responses

According to a Forbes survey conducted in 2019, the reasons why the public and media believe that marijuana should be legalized are mentioned below. The most common responses involves:

  • Cannabis has benefits in medicinal industry
  • Instead of cannabis, law enforcement could pay more attention to other crimes
  • Its consumption should depend upon individual freedom and choice
  • Potential tax revenue of states can be increased 
  • Regulations and SOPs would make the use of cannabis safer
  • Cannabis should not be considered as harmful but take into account its advantages 

The reasons why people are offended by use of cannabis and opposed the legalization of cannabis are listed below. Their responses included:

  • They believe the due to cannabis consumption,  car accidents are increased due to impaired driving
  • Marijuana is a source to other harmful drugs. It opens up doors to the consumption of many other drugs. 
  • Legalization  of cannabis would be harmful society or people
  • They consider that the consumption of cannabis is immoral and unethical, being a part of society. 


Public responses appear to be generally in the support of alleviating cannabis related laws and regulations.  The results of a study conducted by Pew Research Center depicts that about two-thirds of the US population are in favor of legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use. In terms of its medical use, previous researches reflect that a cannabinoid known as CBD is beneficial for muscle pain relief as well as it helps in improving workout performance. Even though, majority of the population believes that its consumption should be legal but still it is crucial to take into account preventative measures regarding its use and dosage. 

Troy Boquette

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