Around two-thirds of Americans believe that cannabis legalization is good for society and the economy, according to a recent poll.
Jushi Holdings, a company that runs cannabis retail, cultivation, and manufacturing facilities in several US states, commissioned market research company Pollfish to conduct its first “4/20 Cannabis Insights Poll.” The companies asked 1,100 Americans to share their opinions about cannabis legalization and other weed-related political issues. The survey also asked people if they used weed personally, and if so, why.
A solid majority of respondents (61%) said they were more likely to vote for politicians who actively worked towards legalizing cannabis. These results dovetail with many other recent surveys showing that roughly two-thirds of all American voters support state and federal weed legalization. Other recent polls have reported that most voters now believe that federal legalization is inevitable, and that more Americans are smoking weed than ever.
The new survey also touched on a number of hot-button issues regarding federal cannabis prohibition. Nearly 68% of those surveyed said they believed legal weed companies should have the same access to banking services that any other company does. And over 76% agreed that the US Department of Veterans Affairs should allow its doctors to recommend medical cannabis to veterans.
Jushi also set out to explore public perceptions about the economic and societal impact of legalization. More than half (59%) of people said they believed that cannabis had a positive impact on society in general. A somewhat higher percentage agreed that legal weed helped boost the economy on both the local (63%) and national (62%) level. Nearly 57% of voters also said that the legal cannabis industry was creating high-quality jobs for Americans.
“Since states began legalizing recreational cannabis a decade ago, more Americans continue to enter the legal cannabis market, which has resulted in a noticeable shift in the way they view marijuana and the sector as a whole,” said Jushi CEO Jim Cacioppo to Forbes. “The economic, job-growth and societal benefits of a regulated marketplace are clearly resonating with Americans, and as more states implement programs, we believe these trends will only intensify.”
The survey also indicates that many respondents have recently changed their mind about weed. Fifty-five percent said that they had tried legal weed for the first time within the past year. Most (31%) of the cannabis-using respondents said they turned to weed for its healing properties, while 22% said they used it for stress. Other weed lovers said they used cannabis for general wellness (18%), recreation (16%) and insomnia (13%).
For those who had never used cannabis, 26% said they would consider trying weed for its medical benefits, while others said they would consider it for sleep, wellness, or recreational use. Most of these potential first-timers said they would prefer to try edibles before sampling any other weed product. Only 23% said that they would not be interested in trying cannabis at all, regardless of the benefits.
“With the majority of Americans now living in a state with a medical or adult-use program, misconceptions around cannabis are being shed,” Cacioppo said in a statement. “The latest data clearly shows more people are not only embracing cannabis in their own lives, but also seeing the value it brings to their communities. This poll shows views on the plant and legalization are trending in a positive direction, and we believe this trajectory will only strengthen in the coming years.”