We compiled a 51-question survey that ranged in topics from demographics and consumption habits to their views on marijuana in the scope of the November election. Polls were open from July 18th and until August 12th and received over 5,800 responses.

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—– GENERAL INFO —–

About us

We are a consumer research company dedicated to empowering the cannabis industry with data on consumer preferences and behavior.

What we did

We conducted a public opinion survey about marijuana and the political atmosphere surrounding the 2016 election.

Why we did it

Not only is it presidential election year, but over 400 seats in the House and Senate are up for grabs. Politicians should accurately represent their constituents’ views and beliefs.

What we are trying to accomplish

Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind alcohol and tobacco), but lately marijuana has been getting a lot more political attention, consequently making it appear that the community is growing at a rapid pace.
But even though legalization might have more attention now, marijuana’s popularity isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, over 150 million Americans have tried using marijuana. That’s not just a one-time thing, either, with 26 million American adults currently using marijuana. Hard to believe? Some people are not as vocal about their use of marijuana because society buckets marijuana users as “druggies” even though marijuana is less addictive and less deadly than other drugs. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.
As of right now, the federal laws and the state laws are vastly different. Most think that in the case of marijuana legalization, state laws trump federal laws, but that’s not true. There was a Michigan farmer who was growing medicinal marijuana legally within his state, but when the federal agents came, he ended up getting a prison sentence of 10 years. This is a dangerously flawed system to impose on law-abiding citizens.

What we want to do

We’d like to help change the social stigma and let the voices of the community be heard in a meaningful way, by using data to tell a new story about cannabis.

—– GENDER —–

Even though men consume alcohol more than women, men and women consume marijuana at similar rates.

More men consider themselves Republican or Independent than women, and 75% of the Panel who identify as Independent are men. Only 22% of those who plan to vote for Donald Trump are women.

—– AGE —–

The younger groups are the most likely to use marijuana daily

… and are also the most willing to move because of local laws on marijuana.

They are also the biggest supporters of putting the tax revenues from marijuana sales into education.

—– INCOME —–

Those who make higher incomes are willing to pay more in taxes on marijuana.

In the past, those who made more money leaned Republican, but this year, the majority of high-income panelists plan to vote for Hillary Clinton.

—– EDUCATION —–

The Panel represents a more educated sector of the population, with only 1.5% having less than a high school degree, compared to 12% of the US population.

Those more educated are more likely to consider themselves Democrats, whereas those who are less educated are more likely to be Republicans.

—– ALCOHOL & TOBACCO —–

65% of the Panel have had at least one alcoholic drink in the last 30 days.

66% of the Panel don’t smoke tobacco, but of those who do, 70% do so on a daily basis.

Of those who do drink,
53% say they would drink less
if marijuana was legal.

—– MARIJUANA as a MEDICINE —–

The Panel is overwhelmingly searching for an alternative for the medicines they take, but is currently held back due to the federal laws.

If medical marijuana was legal, 93% of those on the Panel would try itas an alternative to over-the-counter pain relievers, and 95% would try it as an alternative to prescription pain relievers.

—– POLITICAL SENTIMENTS —–

Overall, 46% of panelists do not identify as Republican or Democrat.

Support for decriminalization was high across the board:

AGREE

Democrat 96.5%

Republican 96%

Independent 96.8%

STRONGLY AGREE

Democrat 93.8%

Republican 89%

Independent 95%

With marijuana legalization on the ballot, there’s a higher voter turnout expected for this election. This isn’t just a theoretical issue; this is an issue that people care about and that is directly affecting their lives.

It doesn’t matter their gender, income, age, or race, they are experiencing the impact.

—– SWING STATES —–

Across all swing states, more than 44% do not identify as Republican or Democrat, which signals a huge number of important votes up for grab, especially with their votes currently split (60% for Hillary and 40% for Trump).

Of this highly valuable voter group, over 90% consider marijuana policy reform to be one of the most important issues in this election, and more than 75% of them would be motivated to vote due to marijuana legislation.

With marijuana legalization viewed as an important issue, and the tendency of Independents to vote based on issue and not on party, this voter group is eager to find the politician that best represents them.

—– KEY TAKEAWAYS —–

Removing the stigma
Many stigmas have been cast onto marijuana from the early 1900s through the 21st century: “hippies,” “stoners,” “potheads,” “lazy,” “bad memory,” “poor,” along with many other negative stereotypes.
However our data shows that marijuana users are well distributed across all education and income levels, political affiliations, occupations, and therefore cannot be generalized.
Despite the broad distribution of marijuana use, outcomes among the different groups are not consistent. Legislation against marijuana possession and use is often used to target those in lower income groups and certain racial groups. It’s been reported by the Drug Policy Alliance/ Marijuana Research Report that in New York, lower‐income black and Latino neighborhoods have much higher rates of marijuana arrests than white and wealthier neighborhoods. To some, enforcement of current marijuana laws does not improve public safety, but instead is leveraged as a tool for control and oppression.

Marijuana as a medicine
The Center for Disease Control reports that in the United States, 28 people die everyday because of drunk driving. Legal marijuana could be a tool in the fight against alcohol abuse, and potentially lower drunk driving incidents.
Given that prescription drug abuse and addiction plague our country, marijuana could also be a valuable alternative to other, more dangerous medicines.
Surprisingly, the majority of the Panel, including those who don’t already consume marijuana, would try marijuana for medical use, even with no further research done on the effects. But today, 9 out of 10 of the biggest pharmaceutical companies actually spend more money on marketing than research and development.
With the public already eager to try marijuana for medical use, the marketing budget required would be incredibly minimal, and could instead be spent on further research. This creates a unique opportunity for marijuana to benefit our nation’s economy, its healthcare industry, and the well-being of its citizens.

How to reach the Independent voter
A modern trend is emerging where independent, free-thinking voters do not hold party allegiances and instead base their support on the issues that matter to them.
With trust in the government at stake in this election, marijuana legalization is of utmost importance, but it can’t be something that is merely listed on the ballot.
This is a prime opportunity for politicians to gain the trust and support of voters by acting on marijuana legalization.
Even though Democrats are more likely to strongly support decriminalization, 89% of Republicans support it as well.
With Consumers more likely to identify as independent, and independents being more likely to strongly agree that the current federal laws against marijuana create distrust with the government, there’s a clear link between harsh current laws and political views.
Those who identify as Independent don’t necessarily lean towards Hillary or Trump; they’re split. Being Independent indicates some degree of disagreement with the two major parties, leaving these voters eager to find politicians that share more of their ideals. These ideals include politicians’ stances on marijuana, which 73% say is one of the most important issues.
From this information, it would be best to legalize and regulate marijuana, and decriminalize its possession and use across the nation. At a time when there are people dying from the consequences of dangerous drug use rather than seeking help due to fears of legal trouble, it is vital to treat drug addiction as a medical, and not criminal, matter.
Tax revenues from a legal marijuana industry are estimated to reach upwards of $28 billion, with Washington and Colorado having already exceeded their revenue estimates. This amount of money could help the United States fund many initiatives, including: raising education budgets (for teacher salaries and school improvements overall), covering the costs of marijuana regulation, improving healthcare, rebuilding communities that have been destroyed by the “War on Drugs,” and other beneficial public works projects.

—– APPENDIX —–

Definitions

Consumer — anyone who ingests marijuana (smoking, vaping, edibles, etc.)
Edibles — food products that contain marijuana
Higher Income — households with total combined annual income greater than $100,000
Independent voter — someone who doesn’t consider themselves to fall into the category of Democrat or Republican
Panel — adults who participated in the survey
Younger groups — 35 and younger

Methodology – Data Collection and Analysis

Cannalytics and their partners invited adults living in the United States to participate in the survey. Invitations were sent out to followers on social media, emailed to their subscribers, and emailed to subscribers of their partners. The survey opened on Monday, July 18th and ran until Friday, August 12th. The survey had 51 questions that ranged in topics from demographics and consumption habits to their views on marijuana in the scope of the November election. There were 5,856 participants that responded.

For more information about this data set, or to participate in future surveys,
please contact us.