Article image

Americans have a more positive view of marijuana than was thought

A survey conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, has revealed that Americans have a much more favorable view of marijuana than what has been previously understood. Out of over 16,000 study participants, around 81 percent reported that they believe marijuana use has at least one benefit.

According to the researchers, the aggressive commercialization of marijuana likely influences the public’s opinion of the drug. While the marketing of tobacco and alcohol is heavily regulated, the promotion of marijuana products is not, which makes it important to understand the public’s perception of marijuana.

The experts designed the study to investigate how adults in the United States view the risks and benefits of marijuana. They found that most Americans think marijuana is beneficial in some way, despite a lack of evidence to support many of these benefits.

The most common advantage of marijuana use that was agreed upon was pain management, followed by the treatment of diseases like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. The survey respondents also reported that they felt marijuana was capable of providing relief from anxiety, stress, and depression.

The efficiency and safety of these treatments, however, have not been fully evaluated. There is also no evidence to suggest that marijuana is not addictive, which a sizable number of study participants believed.

Among the respondents, 29.2 percent believed that smoking marijuana can prevent health problems, while about 18 percent believed that exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke is somewhat or completely safe for adults.

The vast majority of respondents felt that marijuana has risks as well, with 91 percent saying that the use of the drug has at least one risk. The risks that were most commonly agreed upon were legal problems, addiction, and impaired memory.

According to the researchers, the gaps in our understanding of the health effects and safety of marijuana use are extensive, and the public may be underestimating the long-term risks of the drug. The study results highlight the need for future research to provide a better understanding of the health impacts of marijuana use.

The study is published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

Paid for by

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day