Attitudes of Veterans/Active Military, Family Members of Veterans, and Non-Military Individuals on the Legalization of Marijuana and Other Substances for Recreational Use
Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, January 2024
37 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2024
Date Written: January 10, 2024
Polling has shown that, over time, public opinion favoring the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults has grown. Other research has explored public opinion on the legalization of psychedelics, and has compared perceived risks of various illegal substances (e.g., LSD versus heroin). However, little research has focused on exploring differences in perceptions across one’s veteran status. Utilizing a survey of veterans/active military, family members of veterans, and non-military individuals, we built upon the existing literature by exploring whether perceptions regarding the recreational legalization of various substances varied across veteran status. Results showed that a majority of individuals, regardless of their veteran status category, supported the legalization of recreational marijuana. The results also showed that a majority of veteran families and non-military individuals supported the legalization of recreational psychedelics (the veteran/active military support level was approximately 40%). Finally, a large majority of respondents from all veteran status categories did not support the legalization of cocaine and heroin for recreational use. Overall, these results indicate differing levels of support depending on drug type and whether one is a veteran/active military, a family member of a veteran, or non-military.
Keywords: public opinion, legalization, recreational drug use, marijuana, psychedelics, heroin, cocaine, survey, veterans, military personnel, family members of veterans, military community
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