Couple smoking cannabis

Medical cannabis recommendations would be available everywhere if voters had their choice, according to a recent Ipsos poll. This recent online poll which questioned surveyors regarding their support for various levels of cannabis legalization showed high support for medical cannabis. Not only is support high for the legalization of medical cannabis, but a large majority also support full-on legalization for adults, and many believe that cannabis should be legalized for medicinal purposes at the federal level. Let’s take a closer look at the methodology of this poll and its findings.

Elevated Support for Cannabis Legalization

This poll which surveyed 1,021 adults over the age of 18, was conducted in early April 2022. The poll showed that the majority of individuals, regardless of where they live, their age, or their race, would support releasing individuals in jail for cannabis-related charges. The majority of respondents, 69%, responded that they believe cannabis should be legal for medical purposes. The poll showed that nearly half of Americans, 46%, believe that cannabis should be fully legalized for both medical and recreational purposes. 

The results of this poll echo the findings of studies and polls conducted over the last several decades across the nation. We no longer live in a time where everyone is scared to speak up regarding cannabis or to show their support for it. It is individuals speaking up and showing their support in droves that have helped reform cannabis laws thus far in states across the country and places around the world. 

Debunking the Myths

This poll also found that 48% of all Americans feel that cannabis is less harmful to one’s health in comparison to that of tobacco or alcohol. 52% of respondents under the age of 35 believe that cannabis is less harmful than these other two substances, while only 37% of individuals surveyed over the age of 65 felt the same. Another statistic from this subset is that one in three individuals believes that cannabis may lead people to use more addictive drugs. In comparison to how many people showed belief in the gateway theory in the past, this is great progress in the journey to destigmatize cannabis and debunk the myths that surround it. 

It may be a common belief that those that already live in states with legal access to medical cannabis or recreational cannabis markets may show more support for the legalization; however, this is not the case. This study found that the views on cannabis legalization did not drastically change in any manner when considering if people resided where cannabis was approved for medical use, was fully legal, or was still completely prohibited.

Support for Releasing Cannabis Inmates and Clearing Previous Records

Not only does the majority agree that cannabis should be legalized for medical purposes, but the majority also supports the release of individuals currently serving time in jail for cannabis-related offenses. Additionally, the majority also showed support for removing prior convictions and arrests for cannabis-related charges from existing criminal records. Though there is not equal bipartisan support for medical cannabis legalization or retail cannabis legalization, this poll showed that the majority of Republicans, Democrats, and independents would support taxes from cannabis sales going towards local public school systems if legalized. 

Friends smoking cannabis

Why Such High Support for Medical Cannabis Legalization?

The answer to this question is a simple one. People are learning the truth. They are learning that they have been fed lies for decades regarding this plant. They are learning about all of the amazing potential therapeutic benefits that cannabis has to offer. They are watching their loved ones in states with legal access find a higher quality of life. They are watching lives be saved. They are watching all of the magical things that this plant can do, and this is leading many to change their minds regarding cannabis and its place in society, as well as its place as a medicine. 

Cannabis Has and Always Will be Medicinal

This plant has been utilized for centuries in cultures around the world for its therapeutic properties. It was once part of the U.S. medical pharmacopeia. This was before greed and racism came along that fueled prohibition. It was medical cannabis that started to bring states out of the darkness of prohibition, being legalized in California and Alaska for medical purposes years before the legalization boom. It is the stories of medical cannabis patients such as Charlotte Figi that have inspired parents to seek out other therapies. It is stories such as hers that have given hope where none existed. 

Whether you utilize it for a specific ailment such as Crohn’schronic pain, or epilepsy, or you utilize it to “feel good,” cannabis consumption nourishes the body’s endogenous endocannabinoid system and helps to create a state of homeostasis in the body. So even if someone is only consuming to “get high,” they are medicating and providing their bodies with phytonutrients and compounds it needs and is likely deprived of.

The Support for Legalization Was Never Lacking

Since the beginning of prohibition, people have stood in support of cannabis and against the tyranny of prohibiting a plant. For decades, we lost. We watched as many of our friends and family members, as well as ourselves, suffered from lack of access or had to risk our lives and freedom to utilize the plant. Unfortunately, it has taken nearly a century for our politicians to listen and start supporting the will of the people, and even at that, it is only a small handful of them that truly represent what the people desire.

Countless polls and surveys have been conducted over the decades and with each passing year, the support for medical cannabis legalization and adult-use access only continues to grow. It’s time that the will of the people becomes the way and cannabis laws are reformed and prohibition ended once and for all. The proof is out there. The research has been conducted. The people have spoken. It’s time to legalize retail and medical cannabis!

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