April 18, 2017: 10:58 AM CT
(Photo credits: [left] David McNew/Getty Images, [right] Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)
New polling on marijuana usage and attitudes in the United States reveals some interesting findings, including that Americans think alcohol, processed sugar and saturated fat are more harmful than cannabis.
Just 16 percent of Americans surveyed said they believe marijuana is “very harmful,” lower than the number of Americans who said alcohol (27 percent), processed sugar (23 percent) and saturated fat (33 percent) is “very harmful.”
The study , conducted by Toronto-based market research firm DIG Insights, surveyed 1,105 Americans ages 18 to 65 between April 3 and 7, 2017.
“Our goal was to create a custom research report that would serve as a benchmark for the growing Cannabis industry, legislators and other interested parties,” DIG Insights research director Rory McGee said in a release.
The survey found a majority of Americans (57 percent) support legalizing marijuana for adult use. These findings are in line with October 2016 polling by Gallup and Pew Research Center , which found 60 percent and 57 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana.
DIG Insights’ polling also indicates support for legal marijuana is particularly strong among young men (79 percent) and millennials (68 percent) in the U.S.
The majority of Americans (51 percent) believe marijuana consumption can be beneficial, while 32 percent think regular marijuana users are less successful in life.
Twenty-two percent of Americans admitted to using marijuana for recreational purposes in the past year, and an additional 24 percent said they would potentially use the drug if it is legalized.
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Argentina legalized medical cannabis in March 2017. The law establishes a regulatory framework to enable scientific and medical marijuana research. It also provides marijuana to qualifying patients free of charge, the Associated Press reported. (Photo credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
The Australian Parliament passed a measure legalizing medical cannabis on Aug. 24, 2016, as reported by CNN. The law, which allows certain patients with a doctor’s prescription to purchase cannabis from authorized sellers, took effect in November 2016. (Composite image credits: [Left] David Ramos/Getty Images; [Right] Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
The Austrian parliament passed a bill permitting the Health Ministry to cultivate cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes in 2008, although the government has not made medical cannabis available to patients as of January 2017. In 2012, the government approved the import and medical use of the cannabis-based drug Sativex for treating spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. (Photo credit: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)
Canada implemented a national medical cannabis law in 2001, which enabled individuals with the authorization of their health care practitioner to access dried marijuana for medical purposes. The law allowed patients to cultivate their own cannabis at home, designate a caregiver to produce their cannabis or purchase the drug from Health Canada. In 2013, Canada implemented a law that allows for a commercial medical cannabis industry. In 2015, the government expanded its medical cannabis law to provide for medical use of cannabis extracts and different forms of cannabis, in addition to dried cannabis flowers. (Photo credit: Donald Weber/Getty Images)
Chile passed medical marijuana legislation in 2005. However, the country didn’t start growing medical cannabis until 2014, according to the Associated Press. As of January 2016, the country had approximately 4,000 registered medical marijuana patients, according to Reuters. (Composite image credits: [Lower] Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images; [Upper] David McNew/Getty Images)
In May 2016, Colombia voted to legalize marijuana for medical and scientific purposes. The move came after Colombia’s constitutional court had already decriminalized recreational cannabis use. (Photo credit: Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
In October 2015, Croatia legalized medical marijuana for certain patients with illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis or AIDS and a doctor’s prescription, as reported by the Associated Press. (Composite image credits: [Zagreb National Theatre photo] Chris Jackson/Getty Images; [Cannabis leaf clipart] Anonymous/Openclipart)
In 2013, the Czech Republic passed a bill allowing patients diagnosed with one of a few diseases to obtain medical marijuana with a prescription issued by a specific medical professional. (Composite image credits: [Prague photo] Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images; [Cannabis clipart] Fred the Oyster/Openclipart)
Finland passed a medical cannabis law in 2008 that allows doctors to prescribe the drug on a case-by-case basis to patients who have not responded to traditional pharmaceuticals. Medical cannabis is only available to patients suffering with serious conditions such as cancer-related pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and glaucoma. The cannabis-based pharmaceutical drug Sativex is also legal for certain patients. (Composite image credits: [Marijuana photo] David McNew/Getty Images; [Soini, Finland photo] Tony Lewis/Getty Images)
Germany legalized medical cannabis in 2016. Under the new law, which is set to take effect in March 2017, people with severe illnesses such as multiple sclerosis will be able to access medical cannabis, as CNN reports. (Composite image credits: [Reichstag, German parliament building photo] Sean Gallup/Getty Images; [THC molecule clipart] Firkin/Openclipart)
Israel has been a global leader in medical cannabis research and policy reform. In 2016, the government announced plans to make medical cannabis prescriptions available for patients at pharmacies throughout the country, as reported by International Business Times. (Composite image credits: [Left] Sean Gallup/Getty Images; [Right] Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Italy legalized medical cannabis in 2013, but the high cost of purchasing the drug legally at pharmacies has prevented many patients from enrolling, International Business Times reports. (Composite image credits: [Roman Colosseum photo] Franco Origlia/Getty Images; [Cannabis photo] Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jamaica decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and legalized medical cannabis in 2015. The medical marijuana law also applies to foreigners with a medical marijuana prescription, who can get a permit to buy up to 2 ounces of marijuana while in Jamaica, the Associated Press reports. (Photo credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)
In 2016, Macedonia legalized medical cannabis for the treatment of certain severe conditions and has made the drug available to patients at pharmacies throughout the country, according to a Balkan Insight report. (Composite image credits: [Skopje, Macedonia photo] Claudio Villa/Getty Images; [Cannabis leaf clipart] Fred the Oyster/Openclipart)
Medical cannabis has been unofficially tolerated in the Netherlands for some time, but in 2000, the Dutch government officially established the Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC). The OMC began acting as a national agency responsible for the production of medical cannabis in 2001. In 2003, medical cannabis became available at Dutch pharmacies to qualifying patients with a doctor’s prescription. (Photo credit: Michel Porro/Getty Images)
Portugal decriminalized the possession of all drugs -- including cannabis -- for personal use in 2001. Although the country has not specifically legalized medical cannabis, CNN reports many people use the drug for medical and recreational purposes. (Composite image credit: [Portugal fan photo] Graeme Robertson/Getty Images; [Marijuana photo] Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
In 2013, Romania’s government voted to allow certain marijuana derivatives to be used for treating diseases such as epilepsy, cancer and multiple sclerosis, Romania Insider reports. (Bucharest photo credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Thanks to a legal loophole that allows marijuana to be grown for personal use, cannabis clubs have sprung up across Spain in recent years and are particularly prevalent in cities such as Barcelona and Valencia. International Business Times reports that the clubs are allowed to grow and distribute marijuana to their members, and many cater specifically to medical patients. (Composite image credits: [Flag of Spain photo] Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images; [Marijuana photo] Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
California was the first U.S. state to legalize medical cannabis for qualifying patients in 1996. Since then, 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for medical purposes. At least 16 additional states have legalized the medical use of the nonpsychoactive cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) for certain patients. (Composite image credits: [U.S. flag photo] Alex Wong/Getty Images; [Marijuana leaf clipart] Anonymous/Openclipart)
In 2013, Uruguay passed legislation allowing residents to sign up to grow cannabis for personal use at home, and soon, pharmacies will begin selling small amounts of cannabis to registered users across the country, the Los Angeles Times reports. Uruguay has actually legalized medical and recreational use of marijuana, and has many cannabis clubs around the country that grow cannabis and distribute it to registered, paying members. (Photo credit: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Gallery source links: (Argentina), AP CNN (Australia), The Canberra Times (Australia), California NORML (USA), Extract (USA), ProCon.org (USA), MedicalMarijuana.ca (Canada), Dutch Medical Cannabis Program (Netherlands), Los Angeles TImes (Uruguay), Romania Insider (Romania), Associated Press (Chile), Reuters (Chile), NORML (Austria), ProCon.org (Austria), Transnational Institute (Czech Republic), Colombia Reports (Colombia), Associated Press (Croatia), Associated Press (Jamaica), International Business Times (Israel), CNN (Germany), Sensi Seeds (Finland), International Business Times (Italy), Balkan Insight (Macedonia), CNN (Portugal), International Business Times (Spain)