Times are changing, and that change is good news for the marijuana market. Studies and polls show the reason why marijuana legislation is getting favourable support in various states throughout the United States. Society is viewing the drug with a more receptive lens, allowing for greater use and opportunity for increased revenue from legal sales.
A study published in late August 2018 by the Annals of Internal Medicine involved more than 16,000 people in the United States. Results showed that 15% of those who responded had used marijuana in the year prior to the survey, while around 8% admitted to use in the prior 30 days.
Considering this population group to be representative of the entire US, this means that roughly 37 million Americans used marijuana during the August 2017 – August 2018 timeframe. These results are also widely reflective of the changes in legislation, since adult usage is significantly higher in the states where use has been legalized, compared to those states where marijuana use and possession can still lead to charges.
Public opinion that roared to life in the 1930s saw marijuana as closely related to criminal activity. This was partially due to efforts to sway the public toward marijuana prohibition, an effort that clearly succeeded. However, with the changes in law regarding medical marijuana use, public perception of the drug has taken a drastic swing as well.
Certain studies regarding marijuana use and crime show that users tend to be more likely to commit theft and other property-related crimes. Also, some studies show that long-term use can be linked to violent behaviour.
However, these studies depend heavily on subjects that have been arrested, which simply shows that violent marijuana users tend to commit more crime and end up in jail as a result. It may not be a fair representation of all marijuana users, since the nonviolent users are not available for study.
Conclusive studies of crime rates in areas where medical marijuana has been legalized does not show a significant increase in crime, despite the fact that use increases in those areas for those who are not cleared for medical use. This shows that marijuana use is not linked to crime in a continuous pattern.
The favourable view of marijuana is not likely to turn again, since various states and the entire country of Canada are legalizing marijuana use in a recreational manner and not just for medical need.