Behind the poll: A look at our Yahoo News/Marist poll on pot in America

Andrew Romano
·West Coast Correspondent

An exclusive new Yahoo News/Marist Poll shows that as the legal landscape evolves — and as social attitudes evolve along with it — more and more Americans are overcoming old taboos and accepting marijuana into their family lives.

Getting high has lost its stigma in the majority of homes where adults use marijuana, according to the survey of 1,122 Americans 18 or older.

Sixty percent of parents who use marijuana at least once or twice a year say their children are aware that they use it, and a majority (54 percent) of them have spoken directly to their kids about their use. Similarly, 72 percent of adult children who use pot say their parents know that they do.

In fact, many families are now taking the drug together. Already nearly half — 47 percent — of parents who use marijuana say they have consumed it in front of their adult children, shared it with them, or done both. And more than one in four users say they’ve consumed marijuana in front of or with their own parents.

The poll also shows that adults who have at least some experience with marijuana — whether they use it regularly or have simply tried it once — are much less likely to be concerned about its effects on themselves or others. This suggests that as weed becomes more widespread in the age of legalization, more Americans and their families will start to feel the same way.

The mainstreaming of marijuana is even altering attitudes about children and pot, according to the survey.

Overall, Americans are less worried about kids — theirs or others — smoking marijuana than they are about kids smoking cigarettes, with 24 percent of Americans naming cigarettes as their top concern and only 21 percent naming weed.

That’s a far cry from the days of Reefer Madness. “So why the change? In part it’s because most adults now think marijuana is less unhealthy than Miller High Life or Marlboros. By a margin of more than four to one, Americans say that regular tobacco use (76 percent) is a bigger health risk than regular marijuana use (18 percent) — and they say the same thing about alcohol (72 percent vs. 20 percent).

Compare parents who’ve tried pot to parents who haven’t, and the shift becomes even starker.

Parents as a whole still cite pot as the top concern for their own children (24 percent). But only 6 percent of parents who actually use marijuana share this view. In fact, both pot users and “triers” — the 52 percent of Americans who’ve tried the drug at least once in their lives — put it at the bottom of a list of concerns for their children, below cigarettes, alcohol, sex and cheating on a test.

See the full Yahoo News/ Marist Poll

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Read more from the Yahoo Weed & the American Family series: