With marijuana now legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington State, for medical use in 18 states and the District of Columbia, and effectively decriminalized in 14 states, it’s clear that society’s approach to marijuana is changing dramatically. This report sought to learn more about what parents today believe about marijuana use and the risks it may or may not pose to adolescents; medicalization, decriminalization and legalization; and how parents think marijuana, if legal, should be regulated so as to protect young people.
This survey found clear changes in the cultural landscape surrounding marijuana. Key findings include the following:
- Roughly half of parents in the survey report having used marijuana before. The number is somewhat higher (62 percent) for parents living in Colorado.
- Support within the general population for medicalization, decriminalization and legalization of marijuana is approximately 70 percent, 50 percent and 40 percent, respectively, and only slightly lower among parents.
- Despite growing support for legalized marijuana, prevention of marijuana use remains a relevant and important topic that matters to parents.
The Partnership at Drugfree.org collaborated with Batten & Company, a subsidiary of advertising agency BBDO Worldwide, which in turn enlisted an independent researcher, Whitman Insight Strategies to field an online survey of 1,603 adults in early March of 2013. Of the 1,603 adults surveyed, 1,200 were parents of children ages 10-19. Of the 1,200 parents, 200 were from Colorado and 200 from Washington State, allowing researchers to analyze parent attitudes in these states where marijuana was legalized in November 2012.