Americans Recognize Medical Value of Marijuana
The perception of marijuana users as pot heads and lazy stoners may finally be changing to a new one: Patient.
According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, the medicinal value of marijuana is the #1 reason why a majority of Americans now favor its legalization.
The survey of 1,500 adults found that 53% favor legalization, a dramatic shift from a decade earlier when only 32% favored legalization.
When asked what was the main reason they support legalization now, 41% cited its medicinal benefits. Another 36% said marijuana was no worse than other drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes.
Nearly half of U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana and four states — Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska — and the District of Columbia have passed measures to legalize its recreational use. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance with no accepted medical use, but in recent years has stepped back enforcement efforts in states where it is legal.
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