A new survey of Americans and their attitudes towards cannabis has found that an increasing number support it as a more healthy alternative to alcohol. The results showed that as many as 27% now believe that it would be better if people consumed cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, with only 20% expressing the opposite. The survey also found Democrats were more supportive than Republicans.
According to a new YouGov poll, 27% of Americans surveyed said it would be ideal if people consumed more cannabis rather than alcohol, while 20% said it would be a bad idea. However, most respondents (38%) said it would be neither good nor bad, with a further 15% saying they were not sure.
Although not entirely favorable for cannabis, the results do highlight the shifting attitudes amongst Americans towards cannabis. Follow the evolution of these attitudes over time easily with our free cannabis news app.
American Democrats More Favorable Towards Cannabis
The demographic breakdown of the survey, which was conducted among 10,412 Americans on 28 February, found that Democrats were more likely to say switching from alcohol to cannabis would be a good thing (34%), compared to Republicans (18%) and independents (27%).
Those Americans aged 30-44 were also the most likely to say that switching from cannabis would be a good thing (34%), while only 17% of those aged 65 and over felt the same.
Americans Still Debate Advantages of Cannabis
Although the advantages and disadvantages of alcohol over cannabis have been widely discussed by Americans, alcohol use is strongly associated with long-term health problems even though alcohol can cause overdoses.
According to a 2018 World Health Organisation (WHO) report, alcohol causes 3,000,000 premature deaths per year, with the poorest and most disadvantaged communities bearing the brunt of the burden.
In contrast, no cannabis overdose has ever been recorded amongst either Americans or the global population, and the plant’s compounds are used medicinally for a number of health problems.
Legalization is Key
Regardless of the public opinion of Americans, it appears that states where cannabis is legalized for adult use are seeing a stronger trend towards cannabis sales over time.
For example, Massachusetts officially collects more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol, according to state data released last month.
Illinois also saw cannabis taxes beat alcohol for the first time last year, with the state collecting about $100 million more from recreational cannabis than alcohol in 2021.
A 2019 report separately found that the number of drunk-driving accidents in Idaho declined after cannabis was legalised in neighbouring Washington state.
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