marijuana plant leaf 263x164 Poll: 26% of Americans Would Buy Legal MarijuanaIf marijuana were legal, there is a good chance you or someone you know would purchase it. According to a new poll from the Huffington Post and YouGov, about 26% of Americans would purchase marijuana on at least “rare occasions” if it were legal, a sign that the potential for a huge consumer base recognizes the less-risky entertainment values if not the healing benefits of cannabis.

Nine percent of respondents said they would buy it on rare occasions now, while it’s illegal in most places. The percentage who said they would buy pot often if it were legalized grew from 1% to 4%. Purchasing aside, one debate on the Economist shows that a whopping 92% of people support the motion of legalizing marijuana in the U.S. and around the world.

Marijuana as a recreational drug is less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. It also doesn’t lead to physical addiction like these two perfectly legal substances. In addition, marijuana offers benefits that these toxins simply can’t match. As this poll shows, Americans may be warming to the idea of readily available marijuana, of toking up with a few friends on the weekend rather than slamming back a six-pack.

Eighteen percent of those who responded to the poll said they would buy marijuana more often than they do now should it be legalized. Not surprisingly, those under the age of 30 were most likely to say they would buy it if it were legal, at 35%. Sixteen percent of those young adults are already buying it, according to the poll.

Though despite these numbers, Americans still prefer alcohol. According to AlterNet, the same poll asked those who have purchased both marijuana and alcohol in the past how legalization may affect their purchasing habits. Forty-three percent said if marijuana was legal they would still buy alcohol more often. But 23% said they would buy alcohol less often if buying legal pot was an option.

Attitudes about marijuana are changing and so far, the laws are following suit with recreational pot legal in two states so far and more likely in coming years. (Washington and Colorado are the two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use). For many, marijuana offers an alternative to alcohol or a way to unwind without the dangers. For others, however, marijuana is a healing plant, not just a party in a bag.

Studies have linked marijuana use to everything from weight loss, to treating depression, battling cancer, and resolving “untreatable” seizure disorders. The plant is nothing short of miraculous, but we likely won’t know all of its potential until it is no longer a crime to possess it.

Poll Breakdown:

  • 26% would purchase marijuana at some point if it were legal
  • 9% admitted to buying it on rare occasions right now
  • The percentage who said they would buy pot often if it were legalized grew from 1% to 4%
  • 18% would buy it more often than they do now if marijuana were legalized
  • Those 30 or younger are most likely to buy, at 35%. 16% of those are already buying
  • 43% said they would still buy alcohol more often even if marijuana were legal
  • 23% said they would buy alcohol less often