US Nearing 50% Supporting Marijuana Legalization, Poll Finds

Though the fate of California's Prop 19 remains unknown at the time of this writing, majority support in the US for marijuana legalization appears to be just a few years away. An all-time high of 46% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. The number opposed to legalization dropped to an all-time low of 50%. Support increased from 44% last year, continuing an upward trend in the past decade.

time is on our side
Support for legalization was at 12% in a Gallup poll in 1969 and climbed to 28% in 1978, then stayed flat at about 25% throughout the 1980s and most of the 1990s. By 2001, support had climbed to 31%, by 2004 it was at 34%, by 2006 it was at 36%. Since then, support has grown by 10 points to 46%.

"If the trend of the past decade continues at a similar pace, majority support could be a reality within the next few years," Gallup noted in its discussion of the poll results.

Pot legalization scored majority support among liberals (79%), 18-to-29-year-olds (61%), Westerners (58%), Democrats (55%), independents (54%), men (51%) and moderates (51%). It did least well among Republicans (29%), conservatives (30%), and people over 65 (32%)

Support varied among regions, from the West's high of 58% to 47% in the East, 42% in the Midwest, and 41% in the South.

The poll also asked about support for medical marijuana and found that 70% of Americans supported it. But that figure is down from 75% in 2003 and 78% in 2005.

The poll was based on live cell phone and land line interviews conducted October 7-10 with a random sample of 1,025 adults. Each question was asked of a half-sample of approximately 500 respondents. The margin of sampling error was +/-5 percentage points.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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i cant really wrap my head

i cant really wrap my head around the idea that sampling 500 people is an accurate portrayal of the American voter. the only poll that counts happens Nov 2 this year get out and Vote!!! 

@lovehumanity: awesomely said

@lovehumanity: awesomely said

Stats

You should take a course in statistics then -- mathematically, polls that sample in this way (randomly), especially multiple times over time, are extremely accurate within what is known as a "confidence interval".  Legalization is pretty much inevitable at this point, and our politicians and businessmen know it.

50% support marijuana legalazation

Hey man...like pot should be legal man. You know like the people that don't dig it can you know like..go forget themselves man. Some people are like you know..weed can hurt your head or somethin. Like they say marjuana is bad for you. MAN these people are so lame man. I like use it ALL THE TIME and like it never hurt me at all man. My brain is perfect man. Do you dig? In fact I am using it right now man. It really helps me get into my space man. You know what I'm sayin man. Like if the whole country like smoked joints man, everything wo0ld be groovy! Peace would break out man. War would go away man. Every one would like love each other and stuff man. Can you dig it. Have to go now. Getting kind of dizzy and havn hard time like concentrating man. Just remember to vote yes on pot legal man. Groovy.

Troll Much?

Wow Tommy, how long did it take for you to put together that hackneyed diatribe? Don't you get it, most of those who post and contribute this forum and others like it in webland are educated, polite and articulate. You've earned a troll cookie and a beer. Dig on that for a while.

Your prohibitionist nonsense

Your prohibitionist nonsense that is hurting our country will soon be over.

It would be wonderful if

It would be wonderful if ignorant people would not stick people who use marijuana OR who support the legalization of marijuana into a stereotype. If you would have taken time to educate yourself you would know that cannabis does many beneficial things, including helping new cell growth in the brain, helping cure cancer, slowing the progression of Multiple Sclerosis, as well as a treatment for MANY other medical conditions. Please EDUCATE YOURSELF

dumba**

this is obviously not anyone thats ever smoked pot, prohibitionists will do and say anything to get their way. The AMA supports marijuana and its effects. You sound as if you are on ecstasy or an actual drug, not a plant that god created. 

 

Dont Panic

Its ORGANIC

dumba**

this is obviously not anyone thats ever smoked pot, prohibitionists will do and say anything to get their way. The AMA supports marijuana and its effects. You sound as if you are on ecstasy or an actual drug, not a plant that god created. 

 

Dont Panic

Its ORGANIC

Tommy C the Troll

It's stupid we put people in prison at an average of $40K a year at times for possession or even large-scale sales.  Simply asinine.  In my experience the average joint after the first few uses is about on par with a couple of beers.  Even leaving a stoner unemployed with food stamps and welfare would likely be much cheaper per annum and not affect most non-drug users' lives in any respect except for having to smell pot smoke a bit more than usual (which granted is a little pungent -- Chocolate chip cookie smell would be better).  Somehow that inconvenience seems to me not worth jail time and ruining other people's lives for simply trying to take the edge off, albeit in a non-traditional white Episcopalian way i.e. whiskey and gin.  There's always rehab, and some rehab and welfare money almost certainly would be cheaper than jail and the tax money that goes through the court system to process these cases.  As an attorney I can tell you it's not just the money that goes to the jails and police, it's the entire court system's financing that rests on these stupid laws.   

Read the statistics: in some places you've got arrests of minorities at 13 times what it is for white middle and upper-middle class types despite every last demographic study in the last thirty years showing that white upper-middle class types are the primary economic backbone of the illicit drug industry.  Nobody who went to the chi chi prep school I attended EVER got busted.  But if you're a black adolescent male living in an apartment somewhere in a less well-heeled section of town you can get frisked on the street all the time, even if you never touched an illegal drug in your life.  The fact is that the minority pot smokers are soft targets.  Police know they aren't likely to fight, they are easy arrests, and the more they focus their policing in poorer sections of towns -- minority or not -- the less likely the arrest is going to be overturned in court because it will likely be a public defender and not some high-priced well-connected lawyer.  Even with a white upper middle class kid, it's probation at most, or maybe a fine, but with the black kid: jail. 

Now the white kid, he smokes in the back of his large house with his group of friends.  First of all a house -- even a modest one -- in the USA has about the most robust Fourth Amendment protection of all.  Moreover, the smell isn't as likely to make it to the street for any police officer to detect.  Then's there's the fact the officer who would smell it in the first place is too busy busting otherwise harmless minority youths in the poorer section of town so the white kid's pot odor definitely won't make it that far even in a hurricane-magnitude downwind.  What about the poor section of town?  Well, the young minority adolescent sitting with his group of friends smoking a joint in the poorer section of town is either doing it in an apartment amongst close apartment blocks where the smell most definitely carries to the street and kills any Fourth Amendment protection he had in the first place, or he is smoking it in a car, which has practically zip Fourth Amendment protection to begin with.  He gets busted, and he's SOL even though he isn't doing anything the white, richer teenagers aren't doing, just that the white middle and upper middle class kids do it in greater protected circumstances having nothing to do with their own personal efforts in the world, any superior moral sense of discipline, greater exceptional traits, or anything else.  Their parents just have more money.

The police and correctional officers have the strongest unions in nearly every state.  People running for office sound better if they are tough on crime (even if by all rights it shouldn't be a crime), and they need that police union campaign money along with an endorsement that goes over well with the fear-based, Viagra addled tribalistic angry white long past getting to fuck anybody they want because they are too old and unattractive including their colleagues' wives at the country club who have had any erstwhile adulterous imperatives replaced with hot flashes and a penchant for fatty foods.  Furthermore, the entire justice system's accounting hinges on non-violent drug offenders.  Take away non-violent drug offenses, half the prisons would empty out, and you could dump half the state and federally employed criminal lawyers, judges, stenographers, and court clerks.  Naturally, these people don't want legalization.  There's a county in northern California where the sheriff openly admits who goes after pot growers solely to get the federal funds he wouldn't otherwise get to keep a deputy or two extra on staff and better accommodations for his station.  Call it jail and ruined lives for good government-funded air conditioning. My taxes are paying for that shit?

As for the potentially great traffic accident argument (taxpayer clean-up), and the greater capacity for addiction based on decriminalization, the studies show neither are true.  Research this and you will find traffic collisions did not increase in the slightest upon decriminalization in parts of Europe, nor addiction (see Netherlands and Portugal).  In fact re: addiction, legalization seems to diminish addiction numbers over time.  Perhaps easy access leads to boredom.  

Waste of time, waste of tax money, waste of potentially productive citizens. 

How about violence? Ever see one liquor store owner or distributor go shoot it out with another liquor store owner or distributor?  Never once have I seen the guy who owns my local 7-11 pull a gun on the liquor store owner across the street.  It happened all the time during the Prohibition era.  St. Valentine's Day Massacre of Al Capone, etc., all that was over bootlegging illegal liquor and maintaining the territory to do so.  Why did it stop with the end of prohibition? End the illegality, and the price falls.  Simple capitalistic principles.  Guess what: nobody shoots anybody else over affordable, low-priced products.  Just doesn't happen.  It's illegal to sell liquor to teenagers.  Ever see a shoot-out over the right to be the main guy to sell the beer illegally to teens? Know why? Because the basic decriminalizing of booze at the large scale makes it still too cheap to bother trying to organize mass illegal sales of booze to kids.  Now I think there was a one-day sale at Walmart a couple years ago where some lady got stomped to death, but this wasn't over liquor -- this was just a weird aberration, not the norm. 

This whole thing is just primitive social control which should have ended years ago but for a solipsistic, tribalistic low IQ American populace.  We lost the Vietnam War, the hippies don't exist anymore, successful white guys in suits smoke dope all the time who make more money than many of you readers ever will.  Most animals are gay at the same percentage as the ratio in the human populace, including our closest genetic relative.  Natural selection is real and Creationism is something that anybody with an IQ over 98 would never buy even in the first instance.  Jesus and Santa Claus don't exist and if he did they would probably laugh at you.  All night. To your face.

Nevertheless, Tommy's speech had me rolling on the floor laughing.  He really captured a voice that hasn't existed since about 1969.  It sort of channeled Dennis Hopper and David Crosby all into one both for whom I always had a soft spot.

Computer generated polls show more than 50% favor legalization

Computer generated polls show more than 50% favor legalization . That's because so many responders are afraid to admit they'd vote to legalize cannabis if the public was allowed to vote on the matter.

reply to DamianN man

TommHeyTommy  DamianN man. Like get off my case dude. Have a joint and relax man. I am like edecated man. Went to Berkely man. Ohhh...passin out again. Talk later dude;;;iii/ooooooooooo

Advice to Tommy C.

Hey Tommy C, you need to lay off the alcohol and zanny's and just stick to the weed. You would be much better off,  DUDE! Oh, and by the way, those cigarettes you could do without too.

to MJ

 

MJ, this issue is urgently important, both from the economic standpoint and social.

A very dangerous element of society is currently fighting out turf wars south of our

border, and unfortunately, "no man is an island." In major American cities like Atlanta,

these battles are spreading into our streets. However,  I can't close my eyes and

imagine what would happen to society if suddenly, tomorrow, drugs became available at

Wal-Mart or one's pharmacy.  I am certain that such a change would create anarchy in

the prison system, as a result of all of the layoffs of guards. And judges. And cops.

But I do think that there would also be peace in the streets, at least until thugs could

regroup and find something else for which to kill one another.

And the economic cost of illegal drug trafficking  is staggering, both in prosecution and in the penal system.   It would be interesting to know what the annual dollar tax amount is and what the actual

value is lost to our county  tax coffers on the sale of confiscated illegal drugs.  Those documented dollar amounts alone would probably realize enough revenue to help propel the economy enormously and

immediately.

There must exist a huge void in the American economy where so many million/billions of dollars are spent and are earned on the sale of illegal drugs.  It doesn't take an economist to see that the unrealized tax  monies  could be used on infrastructure and hunger. They are, instead, buying bling for some dealer somewhere up the food chain in some cartel; you've seen them in Atlanta.

no more reefer madness

its sad to say, but the "greatest generation", which lived through the Great Depression, then fought and won WWII, and then came home to create a stable, respectable society with moral integrity and progressive politics at its core, is the very same generation that believes MJ is the enemy.  they were brainwashed as young children by Reefer Madness and other anti-marijuana propaganda of the time and have never been able to accept MJ as anything less than a dangerous narcotic.  once their influence on our culture and civilization is gone, the polls will be overwhelmingly in favor of full on legalization and proper regulation.  the reason the numbers are jumping so much is that the members of the "greatest generation" are very old and, sadly to say (my last remaining grandparent is one of them), are dying at expected rates.  every generation since has an over 50% positive outlook and non-propagandized knowledge of MJ, and therefore as newer generations come of age and the "greatest generation" dies off, the numbers are quickly moving in the expected direction.

MJ Prohibition

Until reformers understand that the message to the unconverted should focus on protecting our children better by not wasting time on Willie and Snoop Dog...it will take that much longer to end MJ prohibition.   MOreover, most tokers are cowards.   They will not talk to the prohibition crowd.

Protecting children

Worth making the point here that the prohibs have concentrated on painting anyone who uses herb or, especially, is knowledgeable about its use, as a walking would-be child-molester, as shown by the fact that to get Prop. 19 on the ballet at all they had to include the harsh jazz about penalties for anyone who smokes in front of a 20-year-old or helps an underage person have a toke or learn to do so.

Now consider that in the USA some 900,000 youngsters a year get hooked on niggotine $igarettes (a pack a day = 182 puffs a day by one estimate) and there are statistics suggesting that at least half of all present addicts got hooked before they were of legal age to use tobacco-- what does that say about mentorship in our society.  When will anyone dare to discuss the hypercontroversial thesis that some children might be protected from lifelong lifeshortening niggotine slavery by getting acquainted with the cannabinoid alternative early, through vaporizer or one-hitter, completely bypassing the hot burning overdose paperrollup format, joint", which destroys cannabinoids and gets a youngster used to the idea of $igarette smoking.  Under the guise of protecting children, the present system protects Big 2WackGo against deserved extermination.

Despite the above cited problem I still agree with passing 19 on incrementalist grounds and keep working on further steps.

As to "cowards", I'm a natural born coward too and I don't begrudge someone avoiding the career assassination that awaits anybody who speaks up nonanonymously.  Blacklisted from the highest paying jobs in society, denied student loans, etc., etc. Thank Goethe for these big city public library computers.

legalize it.

Alcohol makes you do way worse things, and there are a lot of dangers that come along with drinking, and it’s legal. Cigarettes are in the same boat. They cause lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, heart disease, and strokes. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,800 chemicals, such as nicotine, arsenic, ammonia, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Would you rather have all that going into you, or just about ¼ of the tar minus all the harsh chemicals with pot? 

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