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Public Opinion: In Gallup Poll, Support for Legalizing Marijuana Reaches All-Time High, Majority in West

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #605)

According to the most recent Gallup poll, 44% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, while 54% oppose it. The 44% figure is the highest since Gallup began polling on the issue nearly 40 years ago.

In 1970, only 12% of respondents favored legalization. That figure climbed to 28% in 1977, then declined slightly and reached a plateau with support holding at around 25% for the next two decades. But in the past decade, public opinion has begun to shift, with support hitting 34% in 2002, 36% in 2006, and now, 44%.

Conversely, opposition to legalization is now at an all-time low. It was 84% in 1970, 66% in 1977, and around 73% for most of the Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton eras. But beginning in about 1996, opposition began to decline, dropping to 62% in 2002, 60% in 2006, and now, 54%.

A related question -- whether marijuana should be legalized and taxed to raise revenues for state governments -- won similar support levels in the Gallup poll. Some 42% of respondents said they would favor such a move in their state, while 56% were opposed. In the West, however, support for tax and legalize has gone over the top; 53% favor such an approach.

Looking at various demographic groups, support for marijuana legalization is highest among self-described liberals, at 78%. Only 26% of conservatives and 46% of moderates supported legalization. Similarly, 54% of Democrats, 49% of independents, and 28% of Republicans supported legalization.

There is also a clear generational divide. Half of those under age 50 support legalization, compared to 45% aged 50 to 64, and only 28% of seniors.

Support for legalization has swollen among certain demographic groups since the last Gallup poll on the issue in 2005. The number in favor of legalization jumped more than 10 points among women (+12), young people (+11), Democrats (+13), liberals (+15), moderates (+11), and residents of the West (+13).

If these rates of increase in support for legalization continue over the medium term, the world as we know may indeed end in 2012.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


maxwood (not verified)

"Jokes" about the 2012 end-times prophecy, a big movie etc. may best be left unmentioned in this context because the last thing we need is for the cause of cannabis legalization to be tied to casually sadistic speculations about death and destruction. (I remember a movie titled "2001" sat around for decades like a timebomb and you know what happened.)

Alternative PR strategy:

1. Link cannabis and tobackgo issues, presenting evidence that Big 2Wackgo campaign money has gone 3-1 to the Republican Party and "conservative" candidates which oppose legalizing cannabis. (Compare your statistics above.)

2. Attack prevalence of hot-burning overdose smoking procedures, particularly the $igarette which is admitted to cause virtually all the 6,000,000/year genocide attributed to tobackgo. Casual references like "smoke a joint together" can be replaced by education about long-stemmed one-hitters and "double toke", i.e. there are two drawtubes long enough for partners to look each other in the eye. (When I have the technology I'll send a particularly sexy cartoon about this operation.) If cannabis users present a worldwide solution to this deadliest of all human problems on the planet, Dave can gobble up a $1.5-mil. Nobel Prize to use on services for medical marijuana patients or whatever.

3. Cover research on development of Cannabinoid-formulas for e-cigarette cartridges. (I found one entry on the web recently which appeared to offer something of the kind for MMJ patients, but the price was over $200.)

4. Examine recent "History" of cannabis-related Wikipedia articles, and note how a few editors have repeatedly deleted or blocked efforts to present information about non-overdose, harm-reduction cannabis use. This is especially relevant because if you search "Cannabis smoking" the top listing, implying the most-consulted source on the subject, is the Wikipedia article. The vast majority of readers seeking out this article are looking for information about how to safely, rationally, INEXPENSIVELY use cannabis for medical or inspirational (forget wreck-creational, that's alcohol) purposes, and when they don't find it, many abandon the search and settle for hot-burning $joint, which is a betrayal of the professed aims of that institution. Someone like Armentano ought to be checking this out, reading the procedural guides, and crafting info that can survive the "editing wars". (Example: one editor repeatedly deleted links to wikiHow articles, with diagrams, showing how to make and screen a narrow-crater long-stemmed one-hitter.)

5. Many of the Wikipedia erasures are explained by a claim that the information is "uncited". Catch-22: researchers everywhere, and journal-editors are afraid to publish anything about safer, harm-reduction methods of using cannabis (except $600 Volcano out of reach of many buyers who are afraid it will get confiscated anyway), so there are no citations to provide in a WP article.

Fri, 10/23/2009 - 1:17pm Permalink
Brinna (not verified)

Frankly, I think if the question was put this way: "Do you favor regulating marijuana, or leaving it unregulated?" – the majority would favor regulation.

Fri, 10/23/2009 - 2:47pm Permalink
jewlion (not verified)

i dont think marijuana will be legalized in 2012
and i dont think the world be better in 2012 like the mayans said
the war will stay for a while...

Fri, 10/23/2009 - 4:18pm Permalink
Right Reverend… (not verified)

The Greetings are posted in Jesus Anointed (with marijuana) who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The information on this site is intended for PUBLIC NOTICE that our goal and policy is to provide religious services through educating the world populace in the revelatory Word and with the sacramental use of natural healing creators in a purely public charity as ministers of the Gospel.

The Universal Orthodox proclaims the Evangel of Revelation 14: 6, 7, that Jesus is the Anointed physically with KNH BSM (canna spice or cannabis) in fulfillment of all the law and the prophets as King like Saul and David, as are all Christian kings, together with Haile Selassie the First. And that KNH BSM (canna spice or ganja) cures all cancers and is the Tree of Life in Revelation, “and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse.” xxii. 2, 3.

“The Tree of Life is just medicine made from the plant.” Voice in the cave heard upon awakening December 12th, 2008 Negril, West End , Jamaica by ‘Greg’ founding Bishop of the Universal Orthodox.

It is the charitable purpose of the Universal Orthodox to provide this, (God given herb agriculturally processed by Rastaman as sacrament and medicine) in obedience to our religious duty owed to the indigent and helpless men, women and children of our fallen world, for their spiritual and physical healing.

With respect to Chrismation religious services and Rastaman’s Tree of Life; all that receive are bound by holy orders to proclaim the Evangel as referred to above. No court in the U.S.A. or of any member State within the United Nations has ever been given the authority to criminalize religious beliefs and practice, or outlaw the reestablishment of Christianity.

All who claim the name Christian are commanded by the Word to act upon the Second Coming, that will reveal the Tree of Life for healing the nations, and to Reestablish the True Christian Religion for all ages of ages. Amen.

The Church Fathers require, “the anointing oil of Jehovah” in Chrismation as Confirmation into Christianity as defined by Exodus 30: 22-25, and Leviticus 10: 7, to receive Holy Communion. Therefore, the Universal Orthodox is in obedience to the Rule of Athanasius, Canons of the Apostles and the Canons of the New Church (Emanuel Swedenborg 1688-1772) of one baptism for the remission of sins.

Universal Orthodox missionaries offer Chrismation and the ‘Tree of Life’ as commanded by the revelatory Word in obedience to the Divine Providence .

Fri, 10/23/2009 - 11:16pm Permalink
Geraldine Mullins (not verified)

Your Drug War Chronicle Issue #434 features ex cop Norm Stamper's video comments and his agenda for drug legalisation. Mr. Stamper is currently in Australia supporting Dr. Alex Wodak's drug legalisation agenda at the Sydney Opera House. He was in Perth last week attacking the WA Government for its dedication to over-turning Simon Lenton's Cannabis Infringement Notice scheme (decriminalisation) which arguably features the most liberal illicit drug laws in the western world and have caused a blow-out in ice and ecstasy, devastated our public mental health system and left 3,000 children abandoned by their drug addicted parents. Why is Mr. Stamper care about what happens in the West Aust. parliament and why is he being used by the Western Australia Media to intimidate our state government? It is already reported that George Soros wants to liberalise West Aust drug laws so as to change the US and the rest of the world. Who funded Stamper's trip to Australia and West.Aust? I look forward to your reply - and Mr. Stamper's response. Is the Stop the Drug War Office the same office as the Drug Policy Alliance? I was in Washington last year and tried to the DPA by phone. DPA's answering service tells me that DPA is very rich, employs many people and is enjoying wealthy patronage-by whom?

Mon, 10/26/2009 - 12:27am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

However a natural substance that has never killed anyone is only allowed in 14 states, while my organs are being toxified by drugs that they allow to be prescribed by every Dr.
And they will eventully before long put me on dialisis or worse.
Folks it's times for a major change.

Sun, 11/15/2009 - 9:22am Permalink

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