Should the use of marijuana be legalised in the United States? This question has been raised since the US House of Representatives last week passed legislation that would legalize and tax the sale of marijuana nationwide. A recent survey by the YouGov finds that a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, expunging marijuana-related convictions, and allowing banks to provide services to marijuana businesses.
The survey found that 60 per cent of the respondents wanted it to be made legal in the United States. Meanwhile, 27 per cent say it should not be.
In political lines, about 72 per cent of the Democrats support legalising. The survey found only about 18 per cent Democrats opposing it. Among the Republicans, the support was evenly split.
Americans who are 65 and older are less likely to support legalisation than adults are. Most Americans (57 per cent) support expunging marijuana-related convictions for non-violent offenses, while 22 per cent oppose doing so. The Survey notes that about half of the people surveyed (51 per cent) support allowing banks to provide financial services to marijuana businesses. It found 25 per cent opposing this.
In the Bill, a person having a minimum age of 21 can buy recreational cannabis. The YouGov poll shows that majority Americans (42 per cent) support 21 years of age. However, it also saw that 36 per cent wanted it to be reduced to 18 years.
IMPACTS OF LEGALISING MARIJUANA
People supportive of legalisation predicted increased tax revenue, fewer arrests, lower levels of incarceration, reduced influence of drug cartels, and fewer people addicted to opioids and other prescription pain medications. People who opposed legalisation said they expected an increase in impaired driving, decreased productivity, more crime, and an increase in drug addiction. Some 50 per cent of the participants in the survey said that legalising the drug would be good for the US Economy. Only 19 per cent say it will be bad. On the health and safety implications of the legalisation, Americans are twice as likely to say marijuana is safe (58 per cent say this) than to say it is unsafe (29 per cent say this). Even more (71 per cent) say they think that marijuana can be useful in treating certain health conditions.
When asked whether regular marijuana or regular alcohol use is more harmful to a person’s health, a majority of Americans (58 per cent) say alcohol is more harmful, while only 15 per cent say marijuana. One in five (21 per cent) are unsure and 6 per cent say neither is harmful.
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