Americans are over getting shit faced. In fact, a new poll shows that Americans believe it would be better if people switched to weed instead of alcohol. Not only is this a sign of a shifting paradigm, but it also shows a slight embrace of the harm reduction mentality.
That in itself is a win, considering people often (erroneously) believe harm reduction promotes substance use. But when asked in the YouGov survey, 27% agreed that it’d be ideal if people used more cannabis instead of booze, whereas 20 percent said it wouldn't be a good idea. Most respondents (38 percent), however, said it would be neither good nor bad, while an additional 15 percent said they weren’t sure.
Cannabis advocates have been quick to point out that liquor often causes long-term health issues and can even lead to death via alcohol poisoning. In contrast, there are no recorded deaths attributed solely to a marijuana overdose—by the federal government’s own admission—and the plant’s compounds have been shown to be medically beneficial for a number of health conditions.
The demographic breakdown of the poll, which involved interviews with 10,412 Americans on February 28, found that Democrats were more likely to say that making the switch to marijuana from alcohol would be good (34 percent), compared to Republicans (18 percent) and independents (27 percent).
People between the ages of 30-44 were the most likely to say cannabis substitution would be good (34 percent), whereas just 17 percent of those 65 and older said the same.
Regardless of public opinion, it appears that states with adult-use cannabis laws are seeing a stronger trend toward cannabis sales over time. For example, Massachusetts is officially collecting more tax revenue from marijuana than alcohol, state data released last month shows. Illinois also saw cannabis taxes beat out booze for the first time last year, with the state collecting about $100 million more from adult-use marijuana than alcohol during 2021.
Furthermore, a 2019 report separately found that the number of drunk-driving accidents in Idaho decreased following the legalization of cannabis in neighboring Washington State.
The trend is slowly moving away from alcohol and toward plants in the US. Maybe that means Americans will stop behaving like sanctimonious idiots, too. Time will tell.