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Are Americans softening their stance against marijuana? According to Pew Research, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. 53% of Americans now believe that marijuana should be legalized for recreational use. Although this is a slim majority, one has to look at what it was like fifty years ago. In 1969, a Gallup poll showed that only 12% of Americans wanted cannabis legalized. This striking shift in perspective could be due to the overwhelming research that shows that there are many benefits to marijuana use, especially when it comes to chronic pain.


To that same end, the consequences of marijuana use when compared to legalized drugs, like alcohol and tobacco, is minimal. Marijuana use does not result in disastrous physical withdrawals like alcohol and, so far, there hasn’t been a link to physical addiction of marijuana either. You also cannot overdose on THC like you can with other drugs. Given this, it’s not hard to see why 69% of Americans also believe that alcohol is a more harmful to public health than marijuana.


One only needs to look at the numbers to understand the epidemic America is experiencing with severe alcohol use. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 25% of people aged 18 or older reported that they binged in alcohol in the past month, and 16.6 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder of some kind. Alcohol is not only physically addictive; it can also be very dangerous to stop cold-turkey from drinking if you are a frequent drinker. Alcohol is one of the few drugs where you can actually die from withdrawal.


Yet, we see alcohol everywhere. One only needs to watch a Denver Broncos game to see countless commercials advocating the use of alcohol. As Americans are wising up to the fact that there isn’t such a thing as a “good drug,” we should see more lax attitudes towards marijuana when we already have a more dangerous drug out there that is legalized and promoted everywhere.


In addition to that, as more research comes out, marijuana may be used as a medicinal intervention to help those with chronic pain avoid more dangerous drugs, like prescription pills and other opiates. Companies like Dabble Extracts out of Colorado have worked hard to develop a QMS system to commercially produce shatter and wax that provides medicinal marijuana users with an efficient way to receive the THC. This could ultimately show innumerable benefits to those in need of pain relief. As the stigma against marijuana reduces with research and experience, expect to see other benefits of marijuana legalization in the upcoming years.