Polls of United States citizens reflect a growing trend of support for marijuana legalization. In fact, two out of every three Americans polled have stated they support federal legalization of the drug, or at minimum the legalization for medical use within their state.
When these polls are discussed, the investigation goes deeper and statistics show that men are more likely to be speaking out in support of marijuana legalization.
A survey conducted by the PEW Research Center in the Spring of 2013 asked more questions than other surveys in relation to why people feel the way they do about marijuana legalization. The responses to those questions reflected that religion factored into the support or lack thereof a great deal.
Women were more likely to cite religion as the basis for their feelings on marijuana legalization. Meanwhile, men embrace risk at a higher rate than women. With this in mind, it is logical that men are more open to the idea of legalization because the risks, which are typically the sticking point for progress, do not factor into male decisions on the matter as much.
Also, men are simply more likely to use marijuana, compared to the rates of women who use the drug. This means greater likelihood of a favourable opinion on legalization discussions.
One area that did not seem to be a strong weight either way was parenthood. While seemingly logical that parents would be concerned about youth exposure to the drug, studies showed that individuals who reported status as a parent were not more likely to oppose legalization than those without children. The weight of other considerations is more significant than that of parental responsibilities.
Currently, 32 states have legalized marijuana for medical treatments, as the data to support this move has become largely indisputable in recent years. Also, 10 states, two territories and Washington, D.C. have all legalized the drug for recreational use, showing the trend for this measure is slowly catching up to the support of the general populace.
Ultimately, the trend to support legalization is so strong that the gap between genders will be greatly reduced in future polls. In the meantime, politicians are recognizing the desires of their constituents and introducing legislation and voting in favour of measures that involve legalization of marijuana.
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