Although marijuana legalization at the federal level is still a distant proposition, the past year brought legal cannabis products to several new states following the 2020 election. In honor of another 4/20, CivicScience revisited our long-running sentiment trackers concerning legal marijuana products.
After hitting record-highs for public support in 2019 and 2020, general support for a law that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol at the state level sits a few ticks lower at 64% so far this year — roughly even with the year-end tally from 2021. Although political orientation remains somewhat predictive of marijuana support, it ranks among one of the least polarizing issues tracked by CivicScience over the past decade. A majority of viewers across each of the three major cable news channels support legalized cannabis products — but Fox News holds the slimmest of majorities, at nearly six in ten, while almost 80% of CNN viewers back such legislation.
A majority of American adults over 21 (just over six in ten) rarely or never use cannabis products at all, but a significant portion does. Nearly one-third of adults of legal age use cannabis products at least on a monthly basis, and as expected, younger Americans significantly outpace the Gen Pop in cannabis use. But daily users are relatively scattered across age brackets, with two-thirds falling between ages 25 and 54. The majority of monthly users are 34 and under.
Compared to CivicScience’s study over a similar three-month period last year, edibles and vaporizers have taken up a considerable chunk of the market share. Although traditional smoking methods still reign supreme, both edibles and vaporizers are at least 30% more likely to be the preferred form of medicinal or recreational cannabis use. As more states take up legalization, you might expect preferences to level out even further.
Barring unforeseen political shifts, the federal legalization of marijuana may still be a decade or more away from reality. But with 18 states and counting legalized on a recreational basis, CivicScience will continue tracking shifts in sentiment and habits as more adults incorporate cannabis products into their lives.