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STEVE ELLIOTT

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The more familiar people are with cannabis and its effects, to less fear they have around the plant. Parents who themselves have tried marijuana worry a lot less about how it might affect their children. Pot use is probably seen as more socially acceptable now than at any other time in American history.

The insights come from Weed & The American Family, an in-depth and thoughtful examination of the way cannabis is affecting our families which was released by Yahoo on Friday.  From the generational split over usage, to shifting attitudes, to its impact on parenting and relationships, the report makes some very interesting reading.

The examination includes an interview with former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who co-founded an extremist anti-legalization group called Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM); a discussion with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper about the lessons he’s learned as a reluctant leader on the front lines of the marijuana revolution; and an intimate conversation with musician, mother and weed advocate Melissa Etheridge.

Yahoo also produced video diaries of families who share how marijuana has affected their lives, including a compelling account of a mother using marijuana to treat postpartum depression and anxiety.

At the center of the project is an exclusive Yahoo News/Marist Poll the most comprehensive examination of this hot topic – Weed & the American Family.  This survey of 1,122 adults in America found that marijuana use has become surprisingly acceptable, particularly in families where parents are users.

Having used — or even tried — marijuana makes you much less concerned about its effect on your family. This suggests that as weed becomes more widespread in the age of legalization, more Americans will begin to feel the same way.

Key Findings from the Yahoo News/Marist Poll Weed & The American Family:

  • 54 percent of marijuana users are parents; 60 percent of those who’ve tried pot think that their children would either approve or wouldn’t care about their recreational pot use
  • Americans correctly think regular tobacco use (76 percent) is a bigger health risk than regular marijuana use
  • Parents still cite using pot as the top concern for their child (24 percent).  However, only six percent of parents who regularly use marijuana share this view.
  • 47 percent of “user” parents say they have consumed marijuana in front of their children, shared it with them, or done both.
  • More than seven in 10 adults who use marijuana say they’ve told their parents about their use.  Many parents who use marijuana say their children are in the know about their use of it.
  • Among parents who use marijuana, 69 percent support prescribing legal medical marijuana to children and 75 percent see it as socially acceptable
  • 82 percent of users in a relationship have used pot in front of their spouse/partner/significant other, shared it with them, or done both
  • 74 percent of Americans said it wouldn’t make any difference to them if a favorite celebrity used cannabis
  • Nearly 7 in 10 Americans approve of professional athletes using marijuana to manage pain

See the full poll results here: http://maristpoll.marist.edu/yahoo-newsmarist-poll/


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