A new Gallup poll finds that Americans have mixed opinions on whether marijuana is good for society and users, even though the majority favors legalization.
Gallup reported Tuesday that 50% of adults say the drug hurts society, compared to 49% who say it’s a positive. But 53% say it benefits individual users, compared to 45% who say it hurts them.
The company noted that 68% of adults, tied for a record high in its polling, support legalizing marijuana.
“Americans’ ambivalence about the effects of marijuana contrasts with their widespread support for legalization,” Gallup reported.
Although 48% of Americans say they have tried marijuana, only 16% said they currently smoke it — statistically unchanged from 12% last year.
Adults who have never tried marijuana have more negative attitudes about it than those who have. Among adults who never used the drug, 62% said it harms users and 72% said it hurts society, compared to 29% and 35% (respectively) of those who have tried it.
Gallup added that 71% of respondents in the same poll said alcohol hurts drinkers and 75% said it hurts society, suggesting Americans view marijuana “far more positively than they do alcohol.”
Gallup also asked this year for the first time if Americans consume marijuana edibles. It found that 14% of respondents do.
Gallup conducted the randomized national telephone survey of 1,013 adults on July 5-26. The margin of error for all respondents was plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.