2 in 5 Americans would look favorably on a politician who is open about marijuana use, reveals poll.

As Bill Clinton once said, ‘I tried it, but I didn’t inhale!’ In terms of cannabis legislation, the past few years have proved pivotal in terms of progress with New York, New Mexico and Virginia recently joining a list of 15 other states that have legalized recreational use of the substance. Despite the clash between state and federal laws when it comes to regulating the cannabis industry in the US, a poll found that an all-time record-high percentage of Americans (68%) support legalization. Political leaders such as Barack Obama and Arnold Schwarzenegger have been open about their past cannabis usage and in fact, 1 in 5 Americans say they now have a more relaxed view towards cannabis use after experiencing months of lockdown during the pandemic, suggesting changing perceptions on cannabis usage.
Rehabs.com conducted a survey of 3,000 voters (aged 21+) to evaluate the link between pot and politics, and it was discovered that 2 in 5 (44%) Americans say they would look favorably on a politician who is open about their cannabis use. Broken down, it was found that men felt slightly more strongly about this (47%) as compared to women (40%).
When further analyzed, it was found that West Virginians have the highest percentage (83%) of voters who would appreciate a politician’s honesty when it comes to cannabis use. Comparatively, Idahoans would be the most likely to penalize a politician at the ballot box, with just 13% saying they would support them.
The survey also found that when it comes to alcohol, 39% voters say they would support a politician who is open about having issues with alcohol. 
With social media having boomed in recent years, many Millennials and Gen Z youth have grown up with technology at their fingertips. While this has offered many advantages, it also means that most people of these generations have left digital footprints that wouldn’t have existed in pre-internet times. With that understanding, it seems voters now are prepared to give politicians more slack when it comes to substance use in their past lives. The survey revealed that nearly 1 in 4 (23%) think Millennial and Gen Z politicians should be treated more leniently for past indiscretions involving drugs and alcohol use.

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