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Cannabis Stigma is Changing

Unfortunately, cannabis (marijuana) has long been stigmatized. However, there is overwhelming evidence that the times are changing. Indeed, the full legalization of recreational marijuana is now supported by most Americans—a dramatic shift from decades prior. Within this article, you will find an overview of the recent data and the reasons why so many people are finally coming around to support the responsible use of recreational cannabis. 

Know the Polls: Americans Now Strongly Support Recreational Cannabis

Last year, the Pew Research Center released the findings of a comprehensive public opinion poll on the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis. Here is what the national survey found: 

  • 59 percent of Americans believe that recreational and medicinal cannabis should be legal. 
  • 30 percent of Americans believe that only medicinal cannabis should be legal. 
  • 10 percent of Americans believe that cannabis should not be legal.

In other words, 89 percent of people support at least some form of legalization with a clear majority supporting full recreational legalization of cannabis. 

Know the Reasons Why Cannabis Stigma is Changing

The gradual transition in the American perspective on cannabis, moving from staunch opposition to majority support for full legalization, is a significant societal change. Several factors contribute to this transformative shift in attitude:

  • Medical Research and Application: Here is the big reason for the shift in public opinion: Over the past few decades, countless studies have highlighted the medicinal benefits of cannabis for a variety of ailments, from chronic pain to certain neurological disorders. Witnessing tangible, therapeutic benefits has altered public perception.
  • State-Level Legalizations: As more states embraced medicinal and recreational cannabis, citizens have seen firsthand the benefits (and potential pitfalls) of a regulated marijuana market. Successes in pioneering states—those being Colorado and Washington—have set examples for others. As of 2023, the majority of U.S. states permit the sale of at least some form of cannabis. Reuters reports 23 states allow for the sale and personal use of recreational marijuana (July 2023). 
  • Positive Economic Implications: Legal marijuana markets, both medical and recreational, have generated billions in revenue. Indeed, the positive economic effects are overwhelming. This economic influx has not only benefited state coffers through taxation but has also created numerous jobs.
  • Criminal Justice Concerns: There’s growing awareness of the disproportionate impact of cannabis criminalization on communities of color and the socio-economic implications of these arrests. Legalization is often seen as a means to address these systemic injustices.
  • Personal Anecdotes and Exposure: As cannabis becomes more mainstream, many individuals have friends or family members who use the plant either medically or recreationally. Personal stories and experiences can be powerful catalysts for change. Many more people have a better understanding of cannabis and are themselves curious. 

City Leaves is a Trusted Provider of Recreational Cannabis 

At City Leaves, we are committed to being the region’s trusted provider for recreational marijuana and other cannabis-related products. If you have any questions about cannabis, we are here to help. Check out our recreational cannabis products page to learn more about what we have to offer!