A new survey by YouGov has revealed that public opinion on drug policy seems to be in line with the changing legal landscape. With dozens of states now allowing recreational and medical cannabis use, a majority of Americans have access to some kind of cannabis product. The YouGov poll found that two in five Americans have changed their views on drug policy, shifting their attitudes in a more liberal direction amid sweeping cannabis reform.
The poll questioned respondents on a variety of topics, asking whether they had changed their minds on some issues, how their political views had changed, and what influenced them to consider the issue from a different angle. Overall, the respondents were polled on 11 hot-button subjects, with drug policy emerging as the second most common issue that people said they had changed their stances on.
Some 41% of respondents said that their views on drug policy had evolved, following 42% who said that their views on foreign policy had changed. An estimated 32% had changed their opinions on healthcare, 31% changed their opinions on immigration, and 28% shifted their views on gun control. The poll also asked respondents whether they had changed their views about the death penalty, same-sex marriage, racial discrimination, abortion, free speech and climate change.
Of those who shared their views on drug policy, 48% reported that they had become “more liberal,” 26% said they were “more conservative,” and 26% reported that their views had “changed in some way.” However, the YouGov survey did not cover specific drug policy issues such as cannabis legalization, expanding access to psychedelics for medical use and safe consumption sites for federally controlled drugs.
When asked what made them change their minds on drug policy, 50% said it was due to “new facts and information.” Some 47% said their opinions shifted as they matured and gained more insights about the world while 39% said world events caused them to reconsider their opinions on drug policies. An estimated 32% of the respondents changed their minds on drug policy due to conversations they had with other people, 33% due to personal experience with the issue, and 14% due to changes in their religious or moral views.
Even though the poll didn’t specifically discuss marijuana, previous surveys have found that people’s opinions on cannabis reform have shifted over the years. A 2021 poll from Gallup revealed that 68% of Americans supported recreational cannabis legalization compared to 56% in 1969. Another pair of Gallup surveys found that more Americans believe that cannabis has a positive impact on consumers and society at large compared to alcohol.
That viewpoint may cause growing numbers of consumers to switch to consuming marijuana rather than alcohol, a change that could mean entities such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) may have lots of opportunities to expand into different markets around the country.
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