Ten years after Washington and Colorado came to be the first states that took the initiative to legalize cannabis for adult use, a lot has changed.
A decade ago, Washington and Colorado took this initiative after enacting Initiative 502 and Amendment 64, respectively. Thanks to this move, many Americans now believe cannabis has had a generally positive impact on society.
Many believe these impacts have been significant health-wise and in the creation of quality jobs both at the national and local levels. This is according to the findings made by the latest Pollfish survey, which was published on the 18th of April 2022. The survey also revealed that more than half of the respondents attempted legal cannabis for the first time last year.
The positives of cannabis
To carry out the survey, a total of 1,100 Americans aged 21 and above were interviewed for their opinions on cannabis. Each respondent was asked to share their thoughts on marijuana, its legalization, and consumption habits. At the end of the survey, about two-thirds of the informants strongly believe that cannabis has had a generally positive effect on society. 61.5% of the respondents also believe that cannabis plays a vital role in raising economic growth in the United States.
About 62% also felt the cannabis industry is very vital for the local economy. A total of 67.6% of the respondents also affirmed that restrictions placed on federal banking should be lifted to enable American cannabis firms to have access to funding and banking services.
It is also important to note that out of the 1,100 respondents, only 43% lived in states where cannabis is legalized for adult use. On the other hand, 22% resided in States where cannabis is completely banned, and 26% resided in states where cannabis is legalized only for medical use.
Among the respondents, more than half (67%) had acquired cannabis via legal means, and 31% claimed to use the herb for medical use. 16% admitted its use for recreational purposes, 22% for stress, 10% for wellness, and 13% for sleep. A total of 55% of the informants also claimed to have tried cannabis for the very first time since last year. Another 40% of respondents affirmed consuming cannabis once or twice every week.
Some respondents claimed never to have tried cannabis. About 21% affirmed not to be interested in consuming cannabis, while 33% had never used cannabis legally. However, 24% of these non-consumers claim to one try out cannabis purely for medical reasons, while 15% would try it out for recreational reasons, and 21% claim it would be trying it out to combat stress. 10% and 8% of the non-consumers also affirmed that they would be trying cannabis for wellness and sleep purposes. A larger percentage of non-consumers also claim they would love to try out edible products first.
This survey was conducted between the 17th and 30th of March 2022 on behalf of Jushi Holdings. The entire survey was also supervised by an associate professor at ArtCenter, Jushi experience director, futurist, and interaction designer, Julian Scaff.
The full political spectrum represented
Among the vital results, the survey reflected the level of support for cannabis legalization across the political scope. Respondents who identified as independents (24.0%), Republicans (25.4%), Democrats (33.4%), and others (4.8%) were asked if they would endorse pro-legalization candidates, and about 60% gave a positive reply.
The poll also indicated that three out of four Americans have the opinion that the Department of Veterans Affairs should review its policy. They believe the new policy should enable veterans to have access to cannabis for medical use based on a doctor’s prescription.
Jim Cacioppo, the founder, and CEO of Jushi, while commenting on the results claimed that more Americans have been venturing into the legal cannabis market. He affirmed that such is made possible thanks to the legalization of recreational use of cannabis that took place 10 years ago. He went on to say that this movement into the legal cannabis market had changed people’s perception of marijuana and the industry in general.
According to Jim, the increase in quality jobs and societal and economic perks of the regulated marketplace are evidently echoing among Americans. Hence, he believes the current trend will only grow and intensify with time as more people come to accept cannabis.
As regards the consumption of cannabis, medical use tops the reason why people choose to use the herb. According to the survey, more than one water of non-marijuana users claimed that the reason they would give it a try is for medical use. The report also indicated that the majority opted for edibles as the cannabis product they would like to first try out.
About one-third of the respondents who use cannabis, claim it got medical use with an average consumption of once or twice per week. The survey showed that most consume cannabis products in the evening.
Before the survey, it has been established that cannabis is commonly used for pain control in the United States. However, while cannabis isn’t strong enough for serious pain ( for instance, broken bone), it is very effective for mild pains. In fact, a lot of Americans prefer to use cannabis for medical use instead of opiates as it is less addictive and impossible to overdose.
Evidently, marijuana has proven to be effective in easing nerve pain and pain of multiple sclerosis. A lot of patients have claimed that cannabis helps ease the pain and allows them to carry out daily activities without feeling disengaged. Similarly, cannabis also serves as a muscle relaxant, and people have testified of its efficacy to reduce tremors of Parkinson’s disease.
Several reports have also claimed the use of marijuana in treating interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions accompanied by chronic pain. Cannabis is also used in weight loss treatment, nausea management, and glaucoma.
As the survey suggests, the positive impact of cannabis on society is significant, and more is expected to come. An interesting research right now is the use of cannabis in the treatment of PTSD veterans coming back from the other combat zone. This is why many now advocate that the Department of Veterans Affairs should review its policy to enable veterans to have access to cannabis for medical use.