Stoners won big on Election Day when new states and cities around the country voted to further legalize marijuana. Yes, it seems you average American is increasingly cool with you lighting up a spliff every now and then. Now, a new poll by Huffington Post (yes, we know) suggests that smoking weed is not considered any worse than drinking alcohol by many Americans. Furthermore, those polled seem to think that your boss has no business with your party preferences: almost two thirds said it would be unacceptable to fire an employee for off-hours smoking. Hooray.
In a poll of 1000 supposedly representative Americans, the majority thought that it would be unacceptable for an employer to fire staff because of their spare-time smoking — if weed is legal in the state. The most important takeaway here seems to be that smoking weed outside your work hours is no less acceptable — or anymore your boss' business — to many Americans than drinking is. The approval rates of firing someone for drinking and smoking during their off-hours were actually pretty much identical.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, respondents younger than 30 were the most likely age group to say that smoking pot outside work hours was not a firing offense, regardless of the legal status of marijuana. Fifty-one percent said it would be unacceptable, whereas only 30 percent believed that it was. More surprisingly perhaps was that older people, age 45-64, were no party poopers either — as long as marijuana use was legal. Seventy-three percent believed firing wasn't OK, compared to 18 percent who disagreed.
So why have Americans been so weird about weed? Especially when pretty much everyone seems to have tried it in college and even President Obama used to be a stoner?
Well, according to this poll, maybe it was never so much about the smoking weed itself as the unlawfulness of it all: When the question was asked more generally (excluding the legal-not-legal part) 45 percent of respondents said it would be unacceptable, and 32 percent said it would be acceptable. For some reason, this emphasis on legality was especially true for Republicans: 41 percent said it was OK to fire someone for smoking weed if it was not legal in the state, while 62 percent said it was not acceptable to fire someone for smoking in a state where marijuana is legal.
Party on, friends.