Military members’ opinions on drugs may surprise you

military attitudes on drugs

Attitudes on the legalization of cannabis and psychedelics have shifted immensely in recent years. The majority of Americans are in favor of nationwide marijuana reform, as well as regulated psychedelic therapy for conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress.

A new study from Ohio State University sought to discover what the military community thinks about recreational drug policy reform versus their non-military counterparts. As it turns out, the military contingent is definitely pro-change.

RELATED: Lawmakers put veteran access to cannabis back on the table

How do military members feel about drugs?

According to the research, 60 percent of service members support federal marijuana legalization. A whopping 85 percent of military family members are in favor, roughly equal to the amount of non-military individuals. 

When it comes to psychedelics, only 40 percent of active-duty military and veterans supported recreational legalization. However, approximately 59 percent of military family members and 61 percent of individuals. 

Civilians were more likely to support adult-use cannabis and psychedelics than military service members—but the script was flipped when hard drugs entered the chat. 37 percent of active and veteran military supported recreational cocaine, compared to 16 percent of their family members and 20 percent of individuals. The same percentage of vets were in favor of recreational heroin—only 10 percent of family members and 13 percent of non-military felt the same.

Researchers polled 1,168 participants, “including 315 active and veteran military personnel, 426 military family members, and 427 non-military-involved individuals.” While the service members were evenly split between male and female, overall, the participants skewed 71 percent women.

Interestingly, the average age of the respondents was 48, and the average age of the military family member group was 55. The older cohort suggests that sentiments around cannabis and psychedelics are starting to transcend generations.

Attitudes of military members and their families are especially important, given the ongoing campaign to ensure vets have access to potentially life-changing plant medicine. Hopefully, the results of polls like the one out of Ohio State will catch the VA’s attention.


rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter