An overwhelming majority of adults in the United States support legalizing medical cannabis, and a plurality supports legalizing recreational cannabis; this is according to a new Harris Poll (founded in 1962 the Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S.).
According to the survey, 82% of U.S. adults support legalizing medical cannabis; this is a small increase from last year when support was at 81%.
When it comes to recreational cannabis, 50% are in support of the move, with 42% opposed.
"Whether or not you believe marijuana should be legalized for any reason, there is a larger question also at hand: who should decide whether or not to legalize the substance, the federal government on behalf of all states or state governments each for themselves?" asks the Harris Poll in a Wednesday press release. "Just over a third of adults feel the decision should be made at the federal level (35% in 2016 and 2015), but the number who favor the states retaining the right to make this decision has increased from 44% in 2015 to 48% now."
When it comes to the potential impact of cannabis legalization on alcohol consumption, "most regular drinkers (adults ages 21+ who drink alcohol at least several times a year), say that marijuana legalization would not impact their personal consumption of alcoholic beverages. 81% of regular beer and spirit drinkers and 85% of regular wine drinkers say that legalization of marijuana would not impact, or has not impacted (for those states where it has already been legalized), their consumption of alcohol."
Of the balance, more say they will decrease their alcohol consumption than say they will increase their consumption.
The Harris Poll included 2,054 participants aged 18+ surveyed online between December 8 and 12, 2016.