“For the times they are a-changin!'” According to the results of a Gallup poll released this past Monday, the majority of the survey respondents, representing two-thirds of Americans, stated that they considered marijuana use to be “morally acceptable.” This marks a significant increase from results from only five years back where less than half of the respondents stated that they agreed with the statement.
This jump in acceptance may come as little surprise to most, considering how successful marijuana legalization efforts have been around the country in recent years. Marijuana use continues to become more mainstream and acceptable among Americans in general.
The shift in moral acceptance of marijuana mirrors the shift in support for legalization over that time period, which rose from 48 percent at the end of 2012 to 64 percent last fall, according to Gallup.
On the spectrum of morality, Americans now rate marijuana use similarly to gay and lesbian relations, stem cell research or having a baby outside marriage, according to Gallup. It’s seen as significantly more acceptable than medical testing on animals, abortion or pornography. But it’s viewed as less acceptable than alcohol use, which 78 percent of respondents say is morally acceptable.
The gap in the acceptance of marijuana and alcohol is driven almost entirely by conservatives, the Gallup data shows. Marijuana and alcohol use are viewed as morally acceptable by large majorities of self-described liberals and moderates – who together comprise about 61 percent of the adult population. Among conservatives, however, 75 percent say drinking is acceptable, while 47 percent say the same of marijuana use.
Do you believe that these estimates are an accurate representation of Americans’ attitudes towards marijuana? Would you have expected that the number of Americans that find weed use acceptable continues to increase so quickly?