Home Culture New Poll Shows Most Americans Don’t Know What Schedule Marijuana Falls Under

New Poll Shows Most Americans Don’t Know What Schedule Marijuana Falls Under


I often have to remind myself that most people don’t read dozens of articles and studies relating to cannabis on a weekly basis, not to mention watch multiple videos every day. The things I know about marijuana may not be common knowledge to most, simply because they can’t put in the time that I do on a specific subject/issue.

And sometimes I’m surprised when something that would be considered common knowledge in the cannabis community hasn’t made it very far into the “mainstream” of society.

For example, one of the first things you’ll learn about cannabis policy if you start researching it is that cannabis is considered a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. This means the federal government has deemed that cannabis has a high potential for abuse and no medical value. Other substances that fall under Schedule I include heroin, LSD and MDMA.

In a recent survey of almost 1,000 people, only 37% correctly identified the Schedule that cannabis is listed under. When the numbers are broken down by generation, only 41% of millennials knew of cannabis’ scheduling.

So while most people will say they want to see marijuana legalized, many are unaware of just how ridiculous the federal government’s stance on cannabis is. To say that marijuana has no medicinal value is to move outside the realm of reality. In fact, in the same survey, 84% of respondents said they believe marijuana has medical value, beating out prescription staples like Robitussin AC, Valium and Xanax.

It would be easy to say that we need to do more to educate the general public about cannabis, but what else could we really be doing? How much more vocal and organized could we be? To be sure, there is room for improvement in anything, but the cannabis community dominates the most useful information sharing tool ever devised – the Internet – more decisively than just about any other group.

I think this poll also shows just how much information is out there. Unless someone is interested in a subject, they are not going to take too much time to learn about it; there’s just too much to learn about the things that do interest them. So the question becomes, how do we get more people interested in learning about cannabis?

I think the key is to continue doing what we are doing. The sheer amount of information that is shared about cannabis on a daily basis is producing real results, regardless of how much people know about specific policy issues. What most people know is that cannabis users aren’t bothering them and there is no reason for their activities to be illegal.


  1. Americans knowledge of the Schedule of marijuana would would be increased by first carefully descheduling cannabis with a federal definition of marijuana that is respectable, sensible, truthful, understandable, and verifiable, because it would foster debate about the appropriate Schedule for marijuana itself, like this:

    Sec. 802.
    (16) The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L., which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is their intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.

    Americans lack of knowledge of the Schedule of marijuana is exacerbated because its definition is abstruse, bewildering, circumlocutory, deceptive, equivocal, and cannot be rescheduled because it looks like this:

    Sec. 802.
    (16)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.
    (B) The term “marihuana” does not include (i) hemp, as defined in section 1639o of title 7; or (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

    Let’s tell Congress to fix the definition of marijuana, so we can have an informed debate about its Schedule.