Last month, Civilized commissioned PSB to conduct an online survey with 1,004 adults in the United States and 600 adults in Canada to better understand views held by the public about cannabis. One of the most interesting findings came from the question “Do you think cannabis has medical benefits?” in which nearly three out of four Americans said they believe that marijuana does indeed have medical benefits. It was a new question added to the survey we conducted with PSB last year which asked about usage habits and other behaviors of both marijuana users and non-users, so there were no results to compare.

This year we found that nearly three out of four Americans believe cannabis has medical benefits, with 73% of the United States sample answering that they think marijuana is medicinal, while 17% said they weren't sure and 10% said they do not believe marijuana offers medical benefits. Surprisingly, this was a higher percentage than that of respondents in Canada, where medical marijuana is already legal at the national level. In the Canadian survey, only 63% said they believe marijuana has medical benefits, 21% said they weren't sure, and 16% said they don't believe the herb is a medicinal plant.

The results of our questionnaire are in line with findings from other national surveys showing that Americans are largely in favor of legalizing medical marijuana at the federal level. For example, a 2017 Pew Research Center poll found that at least 84% of U.S. adults think marijuana should be legal for medicinal use, and a 2017 Gallup Poll found that 64% of Americans think the herb should be legalized outright. Even the U.S. National Institute of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse recognizes that cannabis has medical properties.

Our survey findings suggest that a strong majority of the North American population views cannabis as an herb with medicinal value and that those views are unlikely to change. However, we predict that as research continues to explore the many effects cannabis has on our mental and physical well-being, the number of Americans who believe marijuana has medical benefits is only going to rise over time.