NEW YORK — While more than half of Americans don't agree with legalizing the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, most also say that if legal, it should be sold at pharmacies, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted for financial media company TheStreet by GfK, found that 53% of Americans oppose legalization, while 69% say that assuming it's legal, it should be sold at pharmacies. Meanwhile, 60% say it should be sold at specialty stores. Minorities of respondents — 39%, 17% and 13% — say it should be sold in liquor stores, coffee shops and supermarkets, respectively. Broken down by sex, 73% of men would approve of marijuana sales at pharmacies, compared with 62% of women. The survey included 1,011 interviews.
While marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, its use for medical reasons has been legalized in several states, and its recreational use was legalized in Washington and Colorado last year in voter initiatives; those laws are set to take effect on Jan. 1.
Meanwhile, legislation that would allow medical marijuana sales at pharmacies in Michigan has passed both houses of the state's legislature and is now awaiting Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's signature.
"We are just starting to see what our country with legalized marijuana will look like, so it's no surprise that opinions are widely varied when it comes to its sale and distribution," TheStreet analyst Debra Borchardt said. "TheStreet's survey gauged people's comfort with hypothetical situations — pot in a supermarket, people under 18 [years] being able to purchase it — and the results showed some big differences between men and women, which surprised us."
A large majority, 80%, support marijuana being regulated as alcohol, while 50% say sales should be limited to people ages 21 years and older. Twenty percent support 18 years as a minimum age to buy marijuana, while 15% say the minimum age should be 30 years, and 7% say there should be no age limit.