University of Michigan Poll Shows Older Americans Support Cannabis Legalization

An April 2018 report from The National Poll on Healthy Aging, sponsored by AARP and conducted by the University of Michigan, surveyed more than 2,000 Americans between the ages of 50 and 80. The poll on aging found that 80% of respondents support “allowing medical marijuana if it’s recommended by a physician.” 40% of respondents say they support legalized cannabis use for any reason. While a large number of older Americans support cannabis legalization with certain restrictions, the poll found that the majority of respondents, “say the government should do more to study the drug’s health effects.”

The respondents were asked the questions above along with other questions regarding their perspective on cannabis reform. The results showed an increasing number of older Americans supporting cannabis in several different ways.

Growing Support For Cannabis Reform

Cannabis has always been popular with younger Americans. Though many enjoy recreational cannabis, there are also a number of Americans who have become keen to the pain relief that medical cannabis provides. In fact, according to a Yahoo! News poll, 83% of Americans of all ages support the legalization of cannabis. What is rather surprising about the new University of Michigan poll, is that “more than two-thirds of those polled said they thought that marijuana can ease pain.”

However, only 6% of those polled say they have used cannabis for medicinal purposes and only 18% say they know someone who has. This statistic is not surprising given the limited and relatively recently adapted medical cannabis laws in the United States. Currently, only 29 states and Washington D.C. have medical cannabis laws. The study’s director, Preeti Malani, M.D., believes that, “the poll results indicate older Americans have a sense of wariness, rather than wholehearted acceptance, around medical use of marijuana.”

The Final Frontier For Cannabis Support

Driven by an increased number of states legalizing cannabis for recreational and medicinal use, Americans support for cannabis has skyrocketed in recent years. It was previously unclear whether or not older Americans supported cannabis legalization as much as younger Americans did. Thanks to the results provided by this University of Michigan poll, it is clear that older Americans support cannabis in similar numbers to the general population.

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