According to a new poll, 61% of Americans believe cannabis should be legal in some form. The poll, titled “American Attitudes toward Substance Use in the United States,” was conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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In total, 1,042 adults were surveyed and the results reveal that support for legal cannabis is at an all-time high. Last October, a Gallup survey found that 58% percent of respondents supported legal cannabis. The increase in support over just a few short months indicates that cannabis could gain a lot of social momentum in 2016.

Support for Cannabis through October 2015 (Gallup)

Support for Cannabis through October 2015 (Gallup)

The Many Levels of Supporting Cannabis

While it is true that 61% of polled individuals said they support cannabis legalization, a follow-up question revealed that the extent of support was based on specific criteria.

Out of the 639 individuals who said they would support legalization, only one-third (213) said they would support legalization without restrictions. In comparison, 43% of individuals who said they support legalization (275) would do so only with purchasing limits in place. The remaining 24% of respondents (151)  said they would only support cannabis if it required a medical prescription.

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When asked about other drugs like cocaine and heroin, 93% of the 1,042 respondents said those drugs should remain illegal. When it comes to other doctor-prescribed medications like painkillers, 32% believe that doctors are a major contributor to the opioid dependence and overdose epidemic, while 57% believe that they are only a minor cause.

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There are many other interesting questions posed in this poll. When asked how they felt about the efforts to combat substance abuse in their local communities, the majority of people said not enough was being done to solve the problem.

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Steve DeAngelo Speaks in LA (source)

National opinions on cannabis are shifting as new medical evidence emerges and social acceptance increases. Cannabis Reports will continue to report on cannabis surveys as they are published. For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.