87% of millennials think marijuana is safer than alcohol, believe it should be legalized
A new poll shows that if you think attitudes around marijuana are changing now, they're going to change a whole lot more in the future. Currently, 61% of all Americans believe the drug should be legalized, but if you limit that audience to millennials, apparently, the numbers jump way up. A recent poll of 6,000 millennials says that 87% of them believe cannabis should be legal, and an equal number believe that it's actually safer than alcohol. (And so far, at least, the science backs them up.)
Millennial attitudes about cannabis don't stop there, though. 93% of millennials polled believe that marijuana is better for athletes than painkillers and opioids. It's hard to say if that's true for everyone, but cannabis is certainly less addictive (and much harder to overdose on). 89% want marijuana allowed in sports, and 81.2% believe criminals who are currently in jail for marijuana-related crimes should be released.
Honestly, that all sounds great to us, and it's wild that these aren't fractions of millennials -- these are by far the majority opinions. We've already seen some legislators embrace these opinions, and hopefully we'll see more.
There is one note of concern here: 86% of millennials, according to the poll, believe that cannabis is actually good for your health. That, unfortunately, remains to be seen from a scientific standpoint. While the drug can definitely be beneficial for a lot of people (and definitely better than using other painkillers in many situations), science shows that it does affect young users negatively, and that it might bring increased risks for cancers or other problems. For many people, the benefits strongly outweigh those risks, but it's important that we continue to study the drug -- and legalization will help us do that even more. While that specific opinion might need some refining, however, millennials in general are extremely in favor of cannabis, and hopefully over the next 10 or so years, we'll see their thoughts take the lead as America works to reverse its perspective on what cannabis is and how it can be best used.