When it comes to weed, Americans are still more open with friends than family

Dylan Stableford
·Senior Writer
Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Families in the U.S. have never been more accepting of marijuana, but most Americans still expect friends to be more relaxed toward pot use, according to the results of an exclusive new Yahoo News/Marist Poll, “Weed & the American Family,” which surveyed 1,122 adults between March 1 and March 7.

More than half of Americans 18 and older (52 percent) have tried pot, according to the survey, and the poll found that experience with the drug plays a role in shaping the way people expect family and close friends to feel about marijuana use.

Forty-three percent of Americans say that if weed were legalized for recreational use, their close friends would approve of them getting high for fun. That number rises to 61 percent among those who have tried pot at least once in their lives and hits 82 percent among those who indulge more regularly.

Those polled also expect close friends to be more accepting of legal medical marijuana use: 73 percent of adults, including 85 percent of those who have tried pot and 93 percent of those who use weed more frequently, say their friends would approve.

Yet attitudes about marijuana change when it hits closer to home, and 70 percent of adults overall say parents would disapprove of their using weed for recreation. Among adults who have tried marijuana, 57 percent expect their parents would disapprove. The number is 40 percent among regular marijuana users.

When it comes to pot-using parents, 79 percent of Americans — including 81 percent of parents, 72 percent of those who have tried marijuana and 60 percent who use it regularly — say they would have less respect for parents who use pot in front of their children.

Recreational pot use is also a prickly issue for romantic partners. A majority of Americans in relationships (53 percent) report that their spouse or partner would disapprove of recreational use, even if it were legal.

Attitudes are more open regarding medical use, however, with 73 percent of Americans in a relationship reporting they expect their partners to approve of health-related use.
For parents with children under the age of 18, 38 percent say they would have less respect for their child’s teacher if they found out that teacher used marijuana in his or her personal life, while 55 percent say it makes no difference to them.

Similarly, 36 percent say they would have less respect for their doctor if they found out that doctor used marijuana in his or her personal life, while 58 percent say it makes no difference.

A slim majority (52 percent) of Americans say it makes no difference if they found out a cleric or religious leader used marijuana, although 44 percent say it would. That figure rises to 60 percent among Americans who practice a religion.

Still, a majority (56 percent) of Americans find pot use to be socially acceptable — slightly more than the 49 percent who support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

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