Gallup Poll Support for Marijuana Legalization at 50% for First Time

Support for marijuana legalization in the US continues to climb, with the Gallup Poll reporting Monday that a record high 50% of Americans now approve of freeing the weed. That's up from 30% in 2000, 40% in 2009, and 46% last year.

But pot legalization remains a divisive subject. Nearly half -- 46% -- of respondents opposed legalization, with only 4% either undecided or not answering the question.

When Gallup first began asking the marijuana legalization question in 1969, only 12% approved and 84% opposed. Approval figures hovered in the mid-twenties from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s before beginning the current upward climb.

In line with other national polls, the current Gallup poll found support for legalization strongest among liberals (69%), 18-29-year-olds (62%), and moderates, Democrats, and independents (57%). Men (54%) and 30-49-year-olds (56%) also showed majority support for legalization.

Those demographic groups least like to favor marijuana legalization were people over 65 (31%), conservatives (34%), Republicans (35%), and women (46%).

Geographically, marijuana legalization had majority support in the West (55%), the Midwest (54%), and the East (51%). The only region not showing majority support for legalization was the South, where only 44% approved.

Especially in the West, these numbers will bring some solace to legalization campaigners. Organizers in at least four states -- California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington -- are working toward placing legalization initiatives on state ballots, and these numbers suggest they are within striking distance of victory, even if not within the 60%+ approval comfort zone of initiative veterans.

As Gallup itself noted, "Support for legalizing marijuana has been increasing over the past several years, rising to 50% today -- the highest on record. If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes."

The poll was conducted by telephone interviews on October 6-9. The sample was a random sample of 1,005 adults 18 or older living in all 50 states and Washington, DC. The margin of error is +/- 4%.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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This is a watershed, hope it gets noted in the mainstream media

It should be a wakeup call for them about how public opinion has changed. There was another such landmark event recently when the Washington State Democratic Party endorsed a cannabis legalization initiative (admittedly a controversial one that doesn't include the right to grow), the first time a party from the ruling duopoly has endorsed a legalization proposal at the state level. I've been wondering if anything intelligent will come out of the study that the Indiana legislature authorized earlier this year of drug war related issued. They were supposed to be having hearings at which I think the public could speak, anyone know if that has happened yet? A serious look at the issue of cannabis by a state government would be another landmark event. Since money is such a problem for government now, maybe some drug war reform movement benefactor could offer to finance a state or city level government study focused on cannabis legalization

Occupy Lamar!

Occupy Lamar! 3 opportunities to meet and greet the Congressman (Lamar Smith, R-TX) currently stoppering H.R. 2306 in his capacity as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. 
Wednesday, October 19th
10 a.m.: Kerrville Public Meeting
Location: Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater – 910 Main Street, Kerrville TX3 p.m.: Bandera Public Meeting
Location: Bandera Justice Center, 3360 State Highway 173 North, Bandera, TXThursday, October 20th9 a.m: New Braunfels Public Meeting
Location: McKenna Events Center, 801 West San Antonio, New Braunfels, TX(copy block from the Congressman’s House home page, 10-17-11)

The illegal drug trade is now

The illegal drug trade is now estimated to be somewhere in the region of $400 billion a year ( equal to the defense budget ). This "former land of the free" arrests 1.5 million of it's citizens a year for drug law violations, half for marijuana alone, The majority of the 2.2 million inmates in the USA are incarcerated because of this insane drug war (Prohibition 2) at a staggering cost to all taxpayers and trauma to their families.

 Prisons have been filled to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for these so called drug offenders. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. These laws take violent criminals and turn them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries such as Columbia, Panama, Mexico and Afghanistan. The extreme violence on and south of the border is drug gangs fighting for turf in this lucrative business. The drug laws are also funding the Taliban whose illegal opium profits allow it to buy weapons and pay it's fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan policemen.  When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently, while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process. Were the users of alcohol to blame for the St Valentines massacre in the US in 1929? Of course not! It is just as naive to assume that one can compel all the users of Marijuana or Cocaine to simply quit, as it is to assume that all the users of Alcohol should have stopped drinking after the introduction of alcohol prohibition in 1919. The definition of insanity is great folly, madness, extreme senselessness, lunacy. Prohibition can be described as being all of the above and may therefor, along with all it's supporters, be deemed insane. Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s inquisition­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate who’s sole purpose is to make the rest of us suffer their putrid legacy of incalculable waste and destruction. Protect our Children; Legalize, Regulate & Tax!

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