There is a stigma that comes with being arrested and convicted of a drug crime. People often assume that someone in this position is irresponsible, dangerous and likely has a criminal history.
In reality, however, the people who use drugs come from all different walks of life. Many may look a lot different than others expect. This is especially true when we look at people who use marijuana. A recent survey illustrates this observation.
The survey was conducted by Yahoo News and The Marist Poll and involved 1,122 adults. Below is a profile of who uses marijuana and what people think about it.
Who uses it?
According to the responses, the majority of marijuana users are:
- Male (55 percent)
- Young (52 percent are categorized as millennials)
- Parents (54 percent)
- Politically liberal or independent (85 percent)
- Earning less than $50,000 per year (54 percent)
- Regular users (63 percent of people who use marijuana use it regularly)
Note, however, that many of these characteristics are just barely majorities, which means nearly as many people do not fit this profile.
What do people think about it?
Despite the fact that marijuana is often positioned as a drug to be feared and one that can destroy the lives of users, people typically don’t think about it this way. In fact, according to the survey, a majority of Americans:
- Are just as or more concerned about kids experimenting with sex, alcohol and cigarettes as they are about kids experimenting with marijuana.
- Are primarily concerned about marijuana being illegal over it being impairing or a “gateway drug”
- Consider marijuana to be medically beneficial and an effective stress reliever
- Know someone who uses or has tried marijuana
- Feel that marijuana is socially acceptable
Surveys like this one can shed some light on an often-misleading picture. The reality appears to be that many people around us use marijuana from time to time and for a variety of legitimate reasons.
With all this in mind, we urge anyone who is facing marijuana-related criminal charges to not feel ashamed or decide there is nothing you can do about your situation. Unfortunately, the laws don’t appear to line up with social attitudes, which means you can be facing some severe penalties if convicted of a seemingly minor crime. To avoid this, it can be wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible.