Zogby Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose US Marijuana Policies 12/7/01

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(courtesy NORML Foundation, http://www.norml.org)

Washington, DC: Americans oppose federal efforts to close California medical marijuana providers, and reject the notion that recreational users of the drug should face arrest or criminal prosecution, according to a national poll of 1,024 likely voters by Zogby International and commissioned by the NORML Foundation.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents oppose the use of federal law enforcement agencies to close dispensaries that supply medical marijuana to patients in California and other states that have legalized marijuana for medical use.

Of those, a full one-half (50 percent) say they "strongly oppose," 17 percent say they "somewhat oppose" and six percent are undecided. Only 27 percent of those polled say they support the government's actions, and fewer than one in five (15 percent) voiced strong support.

In addition, 61 percent of respondents said that in light of the increased attention to the threat of terrorism since September 11, they oppose arresting and jailing nonviolent marijuana smokers.

Of those, 39 percent "strongly oppose" arresting smokers, 22 percent "somewhat oppose" and six percent are undecided.

Only 33 percent of those polled say they support arresting and jailing marijuana offenders, and fewer than one in five (18 percent) voiced strong support.

The poll is the first to gauge the public's support for marijuana decriminalization since the September 11 tragedy.

"From opinion-makers like The Washington Post's David Broder and The New York Times' Anthony Lewis to the general public, there is a consensus that America's 65-year war on marijuana smokers needs to take a back seat to the current, substantive war on terrorism," NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said.

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