Pew Poll: 62 Percent Of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legal
Above Photo: From Norml.org
Washington, DC: Sixty-two percent of US adults believe that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to national survey data compiled by the Pew Research Center and released on Monday. The percentage is the highest ever reported by Pew, which has been tracking Americans’ views on the subject of marijuana legalization since 1969.
Support was strongest among Millennials (74 percent), Democrats (69 percent), and Independents (68 percent). Support for legalization was weakest among Republicans (45 percent) and those born between the years 1928 and 1945 (39 percent).
Since 2000, public support in favor of legalization has nearly doubled, Pew reported.
Aurora, CO: The use of cannabis is relatively common among those over the age of 65 who reside in a legal marijuana state, according to data published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Investigators from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus anonymously surveyed older adults at a pair of ambulatory geriatric primary care clinics in Colorado.
Thirty-two percent of respondents reported having used cannabis following legalization, and 16 percent reported that they were current users. Subjects were most likely to report using cannabis to mitigate symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression, or to stimulate appetite.
Authors concluded: “[O]ur survey of ambulatory older adults from Colorado demonstrated that marijuana use in this population was common. Respondents reported using recreational marijuana to target a variety of medical symptoms and conditions with few reported adverse effects. Thus, it is prudent for primary care providers of older adults to inquire specifically about marijuana use before considering prescription changes or additions.”
Separate studies find that self-reported cannabis usage among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors reduce their use of prescription medications, particularly opioids, following their marijuana use. According to clinical data assessing seniors’ long-term use of cannabis, consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”
Melbourne, Australia: Statewide cannabis legalization is not positively associated with an increased risk of adults abusing the substance, according to data published in the journal Drugs In Context.
Australian researchers assessed whether the legal status of cannabis in US states impacted the likelihood of adults using it problematically. They concluded: “Our results also show that legalization status in the USA is not associated with problematic cannabis use and impulsivity. The current findings go beyond prior studies to suggest that, at this point in time, the legalization status of cannabis has not shown an association with cannabis use amongst frequent users, a finding supported by a growing body of literature.”
The findings are consistent with those of prior studies showing declines in the prevalence of so-called ‘cannabis use disorder’ and other measurements of problematic cannabis use in the United States despite the enactment of statewide marijuana liberalization laws.