Gender Differences in Support for Legalization

  • by Sabrina Fendrick August 17, 2011

    In national polls, women statistically are more resistant to the idea of legalization than men. For example, the latest Angus-Reid poll showed male support for marijuana legalization at 57% while female support lags at 53%. More dramatically, a 2010 Gallup poll showed women trailing men by ten percentage points (41%-51%) in their support for legalization. It is arguably impossible to reach strong majority support for marijuana legalization as long as this gender gap remains.

    We as reformers must do more than just acknowledge this gender gap exists; we must close it. To do so, however, we must first understand why women are less likely to support marijuana legalization than men. Specifically, are there particular concerns regarding the legalization and regulation of cannabis that are held by a majority of women but not a majority of men? In an attempt to answer this question, the NORML Women’s Alliance is conducting the following poll. By conducting this and similar polls and by analyzing the results, NORML hopes to find ways to better target women with more persuasive messaging as we seek to close the existing gender gap and continue to move public support in favor of ending marijuana prohibition.

    48 responses to “Gender Differences in Support for Legalization”

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    2. Anonymous says:

      I really don’t mean to sound disrespectful but the reason why women are more against weed than men is because a big majority of them are stupid enough to fall for all the goodie-goodie anti-pot propaganda that is taught to them by there parents and teachers.

      In my experience here in Rhode Island it is almost always a women who will judge you for smoking pot or call the cops on you for smoking pot.

      We can stop this by sending a strong message to our young people informing them of how drinking a beer is MUCH worse for you than smoking a joint. We need to de-program the anti-weed mindset that is instilled in them by there families and teachers.

      Washing away the lies and promoting the TRUTH would be a good start.

      I agree with the article, something NEEDS to be done.

    3. tom says:

      I think women are less apt to rebel and more apt to follow the rules BECAUSE they are judged more harshly by society than men.

      Honestly I think that every reason listed on your survey has its roots in the fact that society has so many more double standards for women than it does for men.

    4. Anonymous says:

      women are just scared more to say anything……they think dcfs will take their kids if they admit in this country that they have anything to do with “DRUGS” see how its even sounds like a dirty word as much brainwashing our schools and police have done..

    5. Norml says:

      This is funny because from my experience, women are more “against” mj than the guys. My gf is one of those who believe mj kills brain cells, makes you a layzy idiot who cant hold a job, her friends coworkers cousins nephew overdosed after one joint, and another who thought they were invincible after partaking and got naked and drove a car off a cliff. Etc. etc. that type… While I dont smoke anymore, I try to educate her every once in awhile, (i never gey very far), I tell her to actually research it and she goes to the dea homepage and says see, it has no medical. value, etc etc. she wont even watch the videos I suggest to her

    6. Bhonze says:

      I believe the gap between women vs men in legalization is overlooked even in the questions asked by the Women’s Alliance. I think the statement that women are a bit more mature when it comes to substance abuse. We men think we can handle being high or drunk all the time and it affects no one which it can put a damper on a relationship and family if we aren’t being responsible. So they (Women) sometimes have to be the responsible one and pick up the slack. It’s just not there nature to just not care and it is unattractive to them.

    7. L3g3nd says:

      Women are more easily persuaded through propaganda and gossip that weed is bad. And more closed minded to the fact, and are much more cautious then men. To them its not worth the complete, social excommunication from their group or clique if u will. This is especially a problem in middle class society rather then the lower class.

    8. Herb T. Oaker says:

      Personally, I know many more male drug users than female, so I suspect first hand experience plays a role. Studies have shown (see http://journal.sjdm.org/06016/jdm06016.htm) that men are more likely than women to take risks, and I have seen others that point to a negative cultural perception of women who are independent or take risks. Since cannabis is illegal, using it is indeed a risk (and anti-drug campaigners have been successful in convincing many of exaggerated health risks), so women are thus less likely than men to use or support cannabis. (I would think the stereotypical overprotective mother types also contribute to the gap)

    9. Joshua says:

      Im not sure what the real numbers are but I see alot more women in healthcare. This brings on more school and more false info through text books and teaching.

    10. Bradson says:

      If it’s possible to do so, the poll should be aimed only at women who don’t support marijuana legalization. Only they can tell us what they’re thinking and feeling, what their fears are. The rest of us are just guessing.