What the Mainstreaming of Marijuana Means to Marketers

To the people I knew growing up, smoking pot was as much about rebellion as it was about the high. Some people – the good students and athletes with a wild side – got a rush by hiding it from the clean-cut jocks and bookworms. Others flaunted it – with their Grateful Dead tie-dyes and hemp bracelets – showing off their non-conformist style.

All of that seems to be changing, and changing fast. Sometime between my first kid being born and planning my fast-approaching 40th birthday party, I looked up and noticed that 23 states had legalized marijuana for medical use, 2 legalized it for recreation, and more seem to be considering it. Even the New York Times is endorsing it. Wait, what?

Is it possible that pot has become conventional? I have to know. So, our data scientists looked at polling data we collected at CivicScience to see what we could find.
We analyzed a sample of 453,635 U.S. adults over the past two years who answered the following question: “Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol?” 58% of respondents support legalization; 35% oppose it; 7% have no strong opinion. Looking only at data over the past three months, support bumps up to 61%, while 30% oppose, and 8% have no strong opinion.support-oppose-law-state-legalize-tax-regulate-marijuana-alcohol
Weed sympathizers clearly outnumber weed opponents in the U.S. today, and ours aren’t the only data that say so. The Pew Foundation published similar numbers in April 2014 – though with a slightly lower (54%) level of support, which could be attributed to margin of error, different question wording, changes over time, or some combination. But I digress.
The scales haven’t tipped because the population of stereotypical stoners somehow exploded in the last decade. We now live in a world (or at least a country) where smoking herb (or at least condoning it) is no longer the exclusive realm of outliers and rebels. Weed has gone mainstream. Weed is trending.
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