Half of America Has Tried Pot – Is That a Good Thing?

Hippie style couple smoking marijuana using a bong. Generative AI.

The Gallup organization has been tracking marijuana trends in America for the better part of 20 years. Anyone who has followed their data knows that the culture has become more accepting of marijuana over the years. Their latest survey shows that half of the nation’s adults have tried marijuana at least once, which is a high by the way. But is that a good thing?

Not surprisingly, there are two subgroups of people who still resist legalized marijuana: conservatives over the age of 50 and regular church attendees. But those in nearly every other subgroup favor marijuana legalization. Yet just because people want legal access to marijuana does not make marijuana good.

We Want A Lot Of Bad Things

For some reason, marijuana is a taboo topic when people want to talk about things that are good or bad for us. We cannot say about marijuana many of the things we say about junk food. But that does not change reality.

I would be willing to bet every penny I ever earned that a cross-sectional survey would demonstrate Americans overwhelmingly support junk food being legal. Every one of us knows that junk food is not good for us. We call it ‘junk’ for a reason. The fact that we want and eat it does not make it good or healthy.

We could say the same thing about alcohol. I would also be willing to wager that the majority of American adults drink at least occasionally. We want alcohol. We drink alcohol. That doesn’t mean it is good for us. In fact, just about every health and fitness expert these days recommends limiting alcohol intake.

We Get Testy About Marijuana

Take everything you just know about junk food and alcohol and apply it to marijuana. Such discussions among people who favor marijuana legalization generally don’t go so well. For some reason, we get testy when people even hint that marijuana might not be good for us.

People use marijuana for all sorts of reasons. In the medical realm, Utah Marijuana says that chronic pain is the most common medical complaint for which cannabis is recommended. Others include cancer, seizure disorders, and PTSD. Medical cannabis is legit, by the way.

In the recreational realm, people consume marijuana because it makes them feel good. They use it to relax, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance social experiences. There are even those people who swear by marijuana as the best way to improve one’s sex life.

What is the point? It is that people use marijuana for all sorts of reasons. But unlike junk food and alcohol, many marijuana users take it very personally. Marijuana consumption isn’t merely something they do; it is part of who they are. So the minute you suggest that marijuana may not be good for us, they get defensive.

Time Will Ultimately Tell

The fact that half of all American adults have tried marijuana at least once doesn’t mean that the same number uses it consistently. Nonetheless, regular marijuana consumption should increase its experimentation rates increase. More people trying pot should inevitably lead to more people using it. Time will ultimately tell whether that is a good thing.

If I were a betting man, I would say that history will look back at the current time with regret. Once marijuana becomes as commonplace as alcohol, the exact same problems will begin popping up. Then what?

We do not ever seem to learn our lessons when it comes to mind-altering substances. We will not learn them this time. But hey, maybe we’ll do better with psychedelics.

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