A Gallup poll that was released this week confirmed what many people already knew – acceptance of cannabis smoking is increasing. The poll recipients were asked to give their opinion on several topics, as to whether they felt the topics were “Morally acceptable”.
Birth Control ranked at the top, at 91%, and Extramarital affairs held the bottom at 10%. But was really interesting, beyond the fact that Polygamy ranks as high as suicide, was that “Smoking Marijuana” was up to 65%., a quantum leap from the 48% in the late 2012 poll. That puts it at the same level as having a baby outside of marriage and Stem-cell research and same-sex relations.
Perhaps not as surprising, was that Drinking Alcohol is at 78%. The Washington Post noted that the difference between the two was mainly attributed to self-proclaimed conservatives, who felt that alcohol use was at 75%, and smoking cannabis as only 47%, but that is still up from the 2012 poll.
But 47% is still almost half, and this poll indicates that most ballot initiatives would win with that breakdown, with voter turnout being the prominent factor as the difference between passing or losing.
The poll did not separate medicinal cannabis use from what many have called “Recreational use,” which is a misnomer. No one calls drinking alcohol “recreational use,” and the opposite of recreational is “Professional,” not Medical. Although alcohol has been used in medicine, people rarely consider it medicinal. The terms just don’t work.
A better term would be “Responsible Adult Use,” both for alcohol and non-medical cannabis use, although some have touted that its stress-reduction properties without loss of impulse control make almost all use medicinal in nature.
There have been no cases of spouses beating each other with cannabis, but it is prevalent in alcohol use, as is reckless impaired driving and violent public acts. (You’ve heard of people being arrested for “Drunk and Disorderly”. Have you ever heard the words “High and disorderly”?)
So maybe this poll shows this country finally coming of age in its understanding and acceptance of cannabis, which predates alcohol use. But first, we need to change the terminology to reflect what we are really talking about. Responsible Adult Use explains what we are talking about. Why else would all the beer and alcohol ads remind the viewers to “Drink responsibly”? Did you ever ask yourself why it needs to be said? Perhaps too much of alcohol use is irresponsible, and yet it still has the 78% approval rating in this poll.
There is one question that this poll did not ask, but needs to be addressed as we move forward, and as opinions continue to change: “If we as a nation have been in favor of using tax dollars that have come from the use of alcohol, whether from responsible adult use or not, would you be in favor of utilizing the tax revenue from Responsible Adult Use of Cannabis?”
Ask your elected officials and the candidates running for office. Their answers may change the way you vote. They win if they support the majority, so why are they touting the side of the minority?