The subject of marijuana - from legalization to medical benefits and everything in between - has come a long way in the last few decades. Once relegated to small pockets of progressives, the conversation around what to do about marijuana has become fully entrenched in the mainstream conversation. And while there are still some differing views in the political realm (Canada just laid out their legalization plan, while America's AG still thinks marijuana is essentially heroin-light), a new survey commissioned by Civilized reveals how far the voting public has come on the issue of marijuana.
The survey – conducted with market research agency PSB – polled more than 1,600 North American adults to explore modern cannabis culture.
Some of the findings below show overwhelming support for various forms of legalization, higher education levels of cannabis users, a surprising amount of support from Republicans, as well as data that the classic stereotype of the stoner on the couch devouring Cheetos is no longer true.
We will be digging deeper into our findings, but here are a few insights into Civilized's Annual Cannabis Culture Poll:
80 Percent of North Americans Support Legalization
While 22 percent of the U.S. population (and 18 percent of the Canadian population) say they use cannabis regularly, 79 percent support some combination of recreational and medical legalization. And 45 percent of Americans and 44 percent of Canadians support legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana on a federal level.
U.S. Users Are More Educated Than Non-Users
According to our poll, 36 percent of cannabis users in the U.S. have some form of college education (bachelor's degree, master's degree etc.), compared to 30 percent of non-users who have completed the same amount of education.
Marijuana Consumers Have More Active Social Lives Than Non-Consumers
Users in both countries tend to have more robust social lives, attending social events like sporting events and concerts, and connecting on social media more than non-users. For example, users are more likely to have gone to a pub, bar or club in the last month (38 percent U.S., 52 percent Canadians) than non-users (22 percent U.S., 30 percent Canadians).
Cannabis Consumers Work Out As Much, And Sometimes More Than Non-Users
Debunking the myth of the stoner on the couch, the results revealed that 28 percent of American cannabis users work out an average of 1-2 times a week, compared to 22 percent of American non-users. In Canada, 33 percent of cannabis users said they worked out once or twice a week, compared to 29 percent of Canadian non-users.
Moreover, 36 percent of American cannabis users reported working out 3-5 times a week, compared to 34 percent of non-users. In Canada, 30 percent of cannabis users said they worked out 3-5 times a week, compared to 26 percent of Canadian non-users.
Cannabis Is Seen As The Least Harmful Substance
We asked our participants to rank how they view the harmfulness of substances from "most harmful" to "least harmful." When compared with other substances such as opioids, cocaine, hallucinogens, alcohol and cigarettes, cannabis was far and away viewed as the least harmful.
The results in order of most harmful to least harmful:
- Opioids such as oxycontin, morphine, and heroin: 36 percent
- Stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamines: 26 percent
- Tobacco: 17 percent
- Hallucinogens such as LSD, mushrooms, and mescaline: 11 percent
- Alcohol: 8 percent
- Cannabis: 2 percent
The Joint Is Still The Most Popular Way to Consume
While the ways to consume cannabis continue to grow (vape, infused, tinctures, etc.), 52 percent of Americans and a whopping 68 percent of Canadians say that the classic joint is still their preferred form of consuming cannabis.
Who Do Most Users Want to Smoke With? Snoop Dogg
35 percent of U.S. and Canadian cannabis consumers named Snoop Dogg as the person they would most like to smoke with. While Willie Nelson came in second (with 19 percent of U.S., and 15 percent of Canadians), only 8 percent of U.S. respondents wanted to smoke up with Donald Trump.
74 percent of Republicans Support Legalization of Some Form of Marijuana
Watch out Jeff Sessions, only 26 percent of Republican voters in our poll were against any form of legalized marijuana. 74 percent of Republican voters disagreed with the attorney general's statements that marijuana was "only slightly less awful than heroin" and thought that legalization of some form (either recreational or medical) was a good idea. This stat may be something Republican politicians may want to consider as we head into the 2018 mid-terms.
We will continue to release more findings of Civilized's Annual Cannabis Culture Poll all week leading up to 4/20. But what we have learned is that the cultural views on cannabis have evolved greatly over the last decade. Once seen as a scourge on society, cannabis is now viewed as an acceptable way to relieve stress - much like a glass of wine at the end of an evening. It is more acceptable for professionals in all fields to consume than it has ever been, and the health benefits (especially when weighed against the current opioid epidemic) are starting to gain more backing. Civilized has always been a champion for those successful parents and professionals who were hidden in the cannabis closet, but now starting to come out.
Civilized partnered with PSB to conduct a survey of more than 1,600 North American adults to explore modern cannabis culture. PSB is a world renowned global strategic communications advisory based in Washington D.C. With roots in innovative political campaign strategy, PSB is a full-service research and insights agency engaging blue-chip organizations across all sectors.