More Americans want legal medical marijuana than legal alcohol or cigarettes, polls say

More Americans want legal medical marijuana than legal alcohol or cigarettes, polls say

VicesAugust 15, 2018 By Reilly Capps

Medical marijuana just might be more popular than legal alcohol or cigarettes.

According to a recent questionnaire, more people would like to see medical marijuana be legal than would like to see alcohol or cigarettes remain legal.  

The poll — from polling firm Harris Insights and Analytics — asked 2,000 Americans this very thing and found that 85 percent support medical cannabis. Fifteen percent wanted med pot outlawed.

Meanwhile, according to a poll from CNN from 2014, only 81 percent of people support legal alcohol. Eighteen percent of people said alcohol should be illegal.

The same poll found that only 71 percent think cigarettes and cigars should be legal, while 27 percent think that cigarettes should be illegal.

Just to reiterate, the percent of Americans who think the following drugs should be illegal, according to two polls:

  • Medical marijuana: 15 percent.

  • Alcohol: 18 percent.

  • Cigarettes: 27 percent.

Those are huge and shocking numbers, apparently showing that this country is more on board for medical marijuana than for alcohol and cigarettes.

Marijuana has experienced a rise in popularity like almost nothing we've ever seen. In 1990, only 16 percent of folks supported legal weed. In 2000 it was 31 percent. Today, in most polls, support for legal recreational cannabis — that is, cannabis for everyone, not just sick people — hovers around 60 percent, the highest number ever.

This highlights one question: why is medical marijuana still outlawed in 19 states, while cigarettes and alcohol are sold in most cities in the country?

Then again, America has always been idiosyncratic in its view of drugs. Some parts of America never legalized alcohol, even after the Prohibition of the 1920s ended. Nearly half of Arkansas and Mississippi counties are still "dry."

Our drug attitudes have to do with our Protestant / Puritan roots, which told us that pleasure is the devil's realm while suffering and work is God's territory.

[As long as you don't get paranoid, marijuana can be a very pleasurable experience with no hangover.]

But even Puritans don't want to deny people medicine. And weed is clearly a treatment for pain and nausea and who knows what else. Which is probably why medical cannabis enjoys such astonishing support, while alcohol and cigarettes are rejected by more than one in five people.

[Photos from Shutterstock]