Older Americans’ Attitudes on Medical Marijuana

February 06, 2005

, AARP: The Magazine

Last November, AARP The Magazine commissioned a telephone poll among a nationally representative sample of 1,706 adults aged 45 and older, asking them to respond to a series of statements on the subject of medical marijuana. What follows are some highlights of the survey, along with a brief summary of noteworthy findings for each:

Chart1

I think that adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if a physician recommends it.
Support for legal medical marijuana was strongest in the West (82%) and Northeast (79%), and lowest in the Southwest (65%). Interestingly, there were no significant response differences among those of different age categories.


Chart2

If a loved one was ill or suffering and marijuana eased their pain or condition, I would obtain marijuana for him or her.
Younger respondents (63% of those 45-49) were more likely to agree with this statement, as were those who have smoked marijuana (74%).


Chart5

Do you believe marijuana is addictive?
While the majority of respondents support medical uses of marijuana, the majority also believe that marijuana is addictive. Women and older respondents (age 60 and older) were more likely to think marijuana is addictive than men and younger (under age 60) respondents.


Chart3

I believe all marijuana use should be legalized.
Younger respondents (34% of those 45-49) were more likely to agree with this statement, as were those who have smoked marijuana (44%). Older respondents (15% of those age 70 and older) were the least likely to agree. Responses across geographical regions did not differ significantly.


Chart4

Have you ever smoked marijuana?
Younger respondents (58% of those 45-49) were more likely to have smoked marijuana, with those 50-59 (37%) and 60-69 (15%) registering significant drop-offs in use. Considerably more men (39%) than women (21%) report having inhaled, and respondents in the West (32%) were more likely to have smoked marijuana than respondents in other regions.

Survey conducted by ICR/International Communications Research. Margin of error is +/- 2.37%

Now, read the full survey results in the AARP.org Research Center.




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