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ABC News: Public’s Support For Pot Legalization Has Never Been Higher!

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 30, 2009

    Earlier this year, a NORML-commissioned national Zogby telephone poll revealed that a record 44 percent of American voters — including nearly six out of ten adults on the west coast — now believe that cannabis should be “taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.”

    Since then, several additional polls have confirmed that the nation’s support for legalizing marijuana has never been higher, and is fast approaching “super-majority status.”

    In fact, a recent poll sponsored by Oaksterdam University indicates that support for legalization among Californians has already achieved such vaulted status (well, almost).

    Today two more polls are reaffirming America’s new “marijuana Zeitgeist.”

    First, in California a new Field Research Corporation poll of 901 registered voters found that 56 percent of voters agree with the statement: “Legalize marijuana for recreational use and tax its proceeds.”

    According to pollsters, this is the first time ever in a California Field poll that a majority of voters have endorsed regulating the adult use of cannabis. In February, California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced legislation — Assembly Bill 390: The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act — to tax the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. To date, over 8,000 NORML supporters have contacted their state representatives in support of AB 390, which is expected to be taken up by the state Assembly early next year.

    Nationally, a just-released ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,072 adults finds that a record 46 percent of all Americans now favor “legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” This total is more than double the percentage of Americans who responded affirmatively (22 percent) to a similar ABC poll question in 1997!

    ABC NEWS/WASHINGTON POST POLL: HOT-BUTTON ISSUES
    via ABCNews.go.com

    46 percent of Americans now favor legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use, the most in data back to the mid-
    1980s and more than double its level 12 years ago. While 52 percent remain opposed, that’s down from 75 percent in the late 1990s and 78 percent in 1986.

    The biggest changes in the past two decades are 29- and 27-point advances in support for legalization among Democrats and independents, to 49 and 53 percent, respectively. The slightest: a 10-point gain among Republicans, to just 28 percent support.

    So much for the myth that supporting marijuana law reform is ‘politically suicidal.’ In fact, if you are a politician — or President — whose constituency leans Democrat or Independent, it’s becoming increasingly likely that more of your supporters favor legalization over prohibition, and if you want to stay elected, you should too!

    138 Responses to “ABC News: Public’s Support For Pot Legalization Has Never Been Higher!”

    1. Andrew says:

      I am a little disappointed with NORML about not advertising the march Saturday. not even a banner. I think it was mentioned in the daily stash.. but thats about it

    2. igor says:

      God sees a plant, and God
      is the earth and trees. Cannabis
      is just a plant. It produces flowers,
      and yet we are opposed to
      A God plant which is not
      harmful to anyone.
      Only man is harmful to man.
      A plant is harmful to a plant.
      Because of our mindset and our injustice
      in the world one sees
      how the USA has now become a land
      of the imprisoned.
      With all the number of prisons in this’
      country now we only turn to that.
      There is only one way,
      Man cannot
      deny nature as God cannot
      deny man. And to do so
      is wrong.
      God gave the cannabis plant,
      it has its uses.
      I believe in God not cannabis.
      I believe in religion not cannabis.
      I believe in freedom not the USA.
      I believe in FREEDOM!

    3. Vote Like A Beast says:

      # 78 Why don’t you tell us who your congressman in so people can vote for him ?

    4. Jack says:

      I consider myself pretty Conservative (right wing) and I feel that the laws are terribly wrong. I do not think the Democrats can make it legal by themselves. It will take both sides to push this. So I think the voters will demand from both parties (right and left) for support of Legalizing MJ, if they want our votes for their office.

    5. Preston says:

      I don’t smoke anymore because I’m terrified of being arrested, but when I did smoke, I was a much happier person. It’s not like I was stoned all the time, either, it was just having it in my system, I think, that made the difference. I have some serious anxiety issues and marijuana was the only thing that helped.

      Too bad the government says I should be condemned for wanting to be able to deal with life.

    6. champagne2878 says:

      this is not about republican or democrat, it is about sanity and insanity.it is insane to lock up all these people for mj and destroy their lives and their families lives. it is insane to deny people and natural element that can ease their pain or whatever ailment they have. we are people, not animals who need to be controlled, but that is how we are treated. they need to legalize and persecute the actions of people. not persecute people for using a plant that doesnt kill you and in general does not harm you. our government is not ignorant to the truth, they are ruled by their greed of money and power, period! what we need to do is find people who are for legalizing and support them in campaigning financially so that we canget them into office, but they need to be kinda like a sleeper cell or whatever until they get in there and then push! push! push! legalization through. we need our own people in good political positions. if every state had a few people to become open about it and for it then something could happen, but dont get me wrong there is alot happening already and im loving every minute of it :)

    7. Vladimir M. Ortega says:

      Hey,if you live in Virginia support Jim Webbs Bill go vote for it!!!!!!!

    8. Ga Sunshine says:

      TWO Parties = Zero Choice!! Don’t vote party! Vote for the person and no one in 2010 who is not for legalization.

    9. Randy Kryn says:

      Not time for total cheers yet, but the work is paying off in public support for privacy. Early congratulations to hundreds of people, too many to name, but a few and please add to this list:
      Thank you Jack Herer, Ben Masel, Dana Beal, Ed Rosenthal, the late Prez Bob, well, too many to name. Thanks everyone, and keep working for one of the last great freedom-of-choice issues left in America.

    10. Mike H. says:

      #64 – America -has- reversed bad policies in the past. I am not sure what history books you are reading.

    11. Manford Mantis says:

      Government doesn’t have a problem with legalizing cannabis. They can legalize it just as fast as they made it illegal. The problem is how they’re going to get out of it gracefully. There’s a whole lot of misinformation out there that is going to be vaporized with the coming of over 17,000 studies worldwide…
      including our own (ooops – we’re not supposed to have research). Plus, there’s a thing called “Drug War Funding”…and…that beast has tentacles that needs feeding. The money we save…is money they lose. Look! this whole dismantling thing is going to take some time. We need to be patient with the process…
      but…keep “the eye of the tiger” on the progress that’s being made. We have to hold the politico’s feet to the fire…and…there’s going to be plenty of fire when the truth gets out.

      I believe, in the light of what’s happening today, that anybodies elected representative gets the picture. They didn’t get there…and…I WISH I COULD SHOW THIS IN BOLD LETTERS…by not hearing “THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE.” They know which way the wind blows.
      They know their job is on the line, and if publicly, they were a little less forthcoming with the truth, they know they will be sent home, to treat their mendacious condition.

      It’s baby steps…one foot in front of the other…
      crawl before we can walk…but…make sure all those steps are headed directly towards the objective. We must become an immovable force.

    12. #110 Mike H. Says:
      May 4th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

      #64 – America -has- reversed bad policies in the past. I am not sure what history books you are reading.

      RE:
      Mike,
      How much longer must one wait for THIS bad policy to be ENTIRELY REVERSED?

      – Alcohol Prohibition ONLY lasted THIRTEEN YEARS!
      (Before it was COMPLETELY repealed)!

      – Cannabis Prohibition has gone on for over SIX TIMES as long!!!
      (Not counting state-based, federally-trampled-upon ‘Decrim‘ and ‘medicalization‘…
      These are ‘half-ashed‘ measures).

      No more oppression!

      We as American ADULTS with freewill,
      have the right to use CANNABIS if we choose to!

      Enough government-profiteering under the guise of morality!

      Enough with this phony War On Drugs!

    13. #110 Mike H. Says:
      May 4th, 2009 at 3:06 pm
      #64 …..I am not sure what history books you are reading.

      RE:
      The same ones I’ve been reading…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_the_United_States

    14. Berend says:

      It isn’t just independent or democrats that believe in the legalization. Being in favor of small government,minimal control and freedom, The Conservative(not Republican) Party is the closest one in favor to legalization.

    15. FiddleMan says:

      Alcohol 5 Times Deadlier than All Illegal Drugs Combined!

      Annual Causes of Death in the United States:

      Tobacco -435,000
      Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity – 365,000
      Alcohol – 85,000
      Microbial Agents – 75,000
      Toxic Agents – 55,000
      Motor Vehicle Crashes -26,347
      Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs -32,000
      Suicide – 30,622
      Incidents Involving Firearms – 29,000
      Homicide – 20,308
      Sexual Behaviors – 20,000
      All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect – 17,000
      Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Such As Aspirin – 7,600
      Marijuana – 0

      (This Table and all Table Sources are found at: Drug War Facts)

      First we’ll look at two of the Legal Drugs – Alcohol and Tobacco:
      Total Alcohol and Tobacco Deaths per Year (U.S. Only): 520,000 deaths – over one-half million dead Americans.

      Ok, let’s look at “All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect” Deaths per Year (U.S. Only): 17,000 deaths
      All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect (yes, this would include Methamphetamines, Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, etc. – all hard drugs and soft drugs – all illegal drugs) deaths compared to the annual deaths caused just by Alcohol and Tobacco. 17,000 (All illegal drugs) / 520,000 (Alcohol & Tobacco) = 0.03269. This means that all illegal drug use put together is less than 03.27% as harmful as Alcohol and Tobacco use. Wow!

      Deaths per year caused by the two legal drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco, are over 30 times more than all illegal drugs combined! Even with 30 times the total number of hard drug users in the U.S. the death rate would still be lower than the annual U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco death rate!

      Now let’s look at just the deaths due to Alcohol: 85,000 deaths. 17,000 (All illegal drugs) / 85,000 (Alcohol) = 0.2. This means that all illegal drug use combined is only 20% as harmful as Alcohol use. So – Alcohol accounts for 5 times more deaths per year than all illegal drugs combined! Wow again! – Put that in your beer mug and drink it! So when you hear a Drug Warrior say that “Legalizing Cannabis sends the Wrong Message to our children” – “The Message” that they are really telling our children is that (when the children reach legal age) they will NOT be allowed to use a safe recreational drug like Cannabis but they Will be allowed to use Alcohol as a recreational drug, even though legal alcohol kills 5 times more people per year than Methamphetamines, Cocaine, Crack, Heroin and all of the worst illegal drugs combined! But – Alcohol is Legal, therefore it is ok! – Duh!

      Now let’s look at Cannabis.
      For those who do not know, Cannabis is the genus name for the very common plant that Harry Anslinger called “Marijuana”, so that he could confuse/trick the public into thinking that Cannabis was some new type of dangerous drug as well as to use racism in quest for criminalization back in the 30’s. (I refuse to use Harry Anslinger’s derogatory terminology)

      Total Cannabis Deaths throughout All of Recorded History (Worldwide): 0!!!. Usage of Cannabis (Marijuana) has never killed anybody – ever!
      Hmm, we can’t even get a percentage of Cannabis Deaths (0) compared to Alcohol and Tobacco Deaths (85,000) since Cannabis has never ever killed anybody can we?

      So – Alcohol and Tobacco kill over a half million Americans in one year and Cannabis has never killed anybody (in the whole world – ever), yet we allow the U.S. Government to support the Alcohol and Tobacco industry while they arrest us, put us in cages and steal our homes/cars/money for using Cannabis – a safe alternative to Alcohol?

      The Pharmaceutical Industry also “pushes” many extremely deadly poisons that could easily be replaced by Cannabis and Cannabis Derived Drugs. “Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs” kill around twice as many people per year as “All Illicit Drug Use Combined” – and that Cannabis use has never killed anyone!

      I wonder how many people die yearly from Alcohol and Tobacco who would prefer Cannabis instead? Cannabis is a completely safe alternative to Alcohol. Alcohol almost killed me. I would love to use Cannabis as a substitute for the deadly drug Alcohol! The problem is that I live in a country where Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is NOT possible – I live in the United States of America – Freedom is NOT an option here. The American public is completely terrorized by the U.S. DEA.

      Terrorism is, most simply, policy intended to intimidate or cause terror. It is more commonly understood as an act which (1) is intended to create fear (terror), (2) is perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a materialistic goal or a lone attack), and (3) deliberately targets (or disregards the safety of) non-combatants. (Wikipedia)
      Second general definition of terrorism: “A policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized.” (Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition 1989)

      Therefore, the U.S. DEA, who break into peoples homes, incarcerate people for exercising their Constitutional Freedom to use Cannabis as a safe alternative to Alcohol (or even as medicine), revoke student aids, separate families, cost people their jobs, take their driving privileges, take their homes, take their right to vote, and kill family pets, are indeed Terrorists!

      The U.S. – with 5% of the world’s population – cages 25% of the world’s population caged population. Notice that I didn’t say 25% of the world’s criminals. Many of the people who are kept in cages should not be. Many people who are forced to live in cages and suffer the brutality of the American Prison System are otherwise law abiding citizens who have simply exercised their Constitutional Right of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

      It is up to us – “We the People” to change this horrible condition that has been inflicted upon us by our own government! We need to join together and force our government to allow us the freedoms that our forefathers promised us in the Constitution. We need our government to dismantle the U.S. supported and funded American Terrorism Group also known as the U.S. DEA. We the People are PAYING for our own Terrorization! We support this horror with our own taxes! We want to support the U.S. with our taxes, but we do NOT want to fund government-supported American Terrorist Groups such as the DEA.

      There are a multitude of other great reasons to Legalize Cannabis…
      A few of these reasons are:
      Medical – Replacing dangerous pharmaceuticals with a safe alternative.
      Fiber – Rope, Clothing, Paper, etc. (there are many entries on this list!)
      Nutrition – Hemp seeds are very nutritious and can be used in/with many foods. It is also one of the best bird seeds known.
      Chemical – Fuel, Paints, etc.
      Ecological – Cannabis can grow anywhere, is a good CO2 extractor, and is good for the soil that it grows in. Cannabis can totally end Deforestation!
      Recreational – Let’s not leave this one out! – Cannabis is the SAFE ALTERNATIVE to Alcohol. It does not cause violence and reckless behavior like Alcohol does. And don’t forget – Cannabis has No Death Rate whatsoever!
      Taxation – Once Cannabis has been legalized, the taxation from Cannabis will bring in Billions of dollars to the U.S. Government. Add that to the Billions of dollars saved from not persecuting Cannabis users and we are talking a great deal of money. Remember that decriminalizing Cannabis, even though it would be a wonderful first step, will NOT bring in the Billions of taxation dollars – Cannabis must be legalized to make this happen. Legalization is also mandatory to properly regulate Cannabis. Once Cannabis is legal, and purchasing it is made legal, then controls can be put into place so that only adults can purchase it (like Alcohol today). If a product is illegal, then it must be purchased by illegal means and can not be regulated.

      Inform Yourself!

      There are many internet sites that can help you to educate yourself on this topic. Here are a few: Norml, Marijuana Policy Project, Drug WarRant, Cannabis News and LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Also, please read Jack Herer’s Book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”. “The Emperor” is a wealth of information concerning how this country was duped into making Cannabis illegal.

      Please support the Legalization of Cannabis!
      Please don’t hide – come out of the closet – we need you!
      Be Active – Be Vocal – do not let the terrorists win – We Can Do This!

      Legalize Cannabis Now!

    16. FELLOW POT HEAD says:

      Finally the American people can see what the truth really is corrupt higher ups that had kept hidden for so many years and if America can legalize the world will fallow in in our foot steps.

    17. The most chilling evidence to opponents of MJ is the physical proof under microscope at, sethgroup.org. Marijuana is medicine that works and works very well to kill cancer cells with no side affects.

    18. [...] week NORML reported on the results of a just-released Field Research Corporation poll that found that 56 percent of [...]

    19. [...] week NORML reported on the results of a just-released Field Research Corporation poll that found that 56 percent of [...]

    20. Justin says:

      http://change.gov/page/s/yourstory SEND YOUR REQUEST TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!! im one of millions of americans that want legalize please
      send your request im working with norml and many others to change this law!!!

    21. money blog says:

      Exactly. If I can buy 10 cartons of cigarettes at once, you should be able to buy as much pot as you want.

    22. Dan DaMan says:

      I stongly recommend everyone who reads this post should read D.R.”Doc” Smith Sr.’s book Yes we Can-nabis!!! and send a copy to Obama. link is yesswecannabis.us

    23. rene perez says:

      Does anyone talk about whether these new laws would be retroactive and the thousands of marijuana prisoners could be freed? We as a nation need to grow up these policies ruined my life, my friend who were never caught have lives much different from mine and I would love to be revindicated one day, even if only symbolic.

    24. malex I live in Alaska. I can smoke all the weed I want.

    25. heather says:

      Most of us are hard working middle class americans who don’t want any trouble from the law. We need somthing that wont make us feel ill or have withdrawls like alcohole. I’m not a drinker but it would be nice to have something that will relaxe me after a long hard day working in customer service. We need to legalize marijuana to help boost the economy, heel the sick, calm the stressed people. At least if it was legal it would be supervised like alcohole so people don’t have problems with the law. We don’t want trouble anymore.

    26. Deidra says:

      The reasons that weed isn’t legalized are ridiculous. Harmful to others-just like tobacco? Goes against people’s morals- wasn’t the country founded on the fact that all people are different? There should be some toleration, this is America! And I would like to not have to worry about getting in trouble with the law for doing some recreational activities. And we could pull the economy out of the hole!

    27. Bill says:

      I don’t think we’ll make a huge amount of money by taxing pot but the amount we would save by not prosecuting/persecuting so many people for basicly doing nothing would certainly be substantial.

      Bad laws such as pot laws making crimminals out of otherwise law abiding and productive citizes do notheing except breed comtempt for our justice system in general as well as for those that support keeping MJ illegal based on nonsense.

    28. zoom says:

      jerry is absolutely right…he served his contry and he gets snubbed of his freedom just like the rest of us . . . people just need to know the truth and quit following propaganda and lies that the government is handing to the people. they need to realize its benefits…

    29. derek says:

      marijuana should be legalized for all the above reasons mentioned. you can show your support by going to ebay and doing a search on legalize marijuana silicone wristband and get one to display somewhere to remind people about this subject.the more people talk about it, the better its going to get.

    30. [...] Forty-four percent of American voters support taxing and regulating marijuana like tobacco and alcohol. Isn’t it time for an open and honest debate about reforming our nation’s drug laws? Hawaii’s Republican Governor Linda Lingle sure doesn’t think so. She, like many prohibitionists, fears that a little free speech would bring to light the terrible hypocrisy, cruelty, and backwardness of US drug policy. And that’s a No-No. [...]

    31. [...] Opinion poll results echo those of separate national polls conducted this year by Gallup, Zogby, ABC News, CBS News, Rasmussen Reports, and the California Field Poll, each of which reported greater public [...]

    32. [...] Opinion poll results echo those of separate national polls conducted this year by Gallup, Zogby, ABC News, CBS News, Rasmussen Reports, and the California Field Poll each of which reported greater public [...]

    33. [...] Opinion poll results echo those of separate national polls conducted this year by Gallup, Zogby, ABC News, CBS News, Rasmussen Reports, and the California Field Poll, each of which reported greater public [...]

    34. [...] Opinion poll results echo those of separate national polls conducted this year by Gallup, Zogby, ABC News, CBS News, Rasmussen Reports, and the California Field Poll, each of which reported greater public [...]

    35. clay says:

      marijuana helps me sleep, i am not under the influence all day. i lead a productive life. if i want to go home after work and smoke a joint and watch family guy that’s my business. weed shouldn’t be illegal. GReen POwer!!!

    36. [...] Opinion poll results echo those of separate national polls conducted this year by Gallup, Zogby, ABC News, CBS News, Rasmussen Reports, and the California Field Poll­ each of which reported greater public [...]

    37. [...] Norml #1, #2, #3, Huffington Post, Salon, A1, Wikipedia Advertisement Share [...]

    38. trendopics says:

      I am not a weed smoker myself but i do agree that is should be legal, My friends smooke weed and they are really nice people, just sit at home watching movies, my other mates go out drinking causing trouble, this is what alcohol does and thats what weed does, how is alchol legal and weeds not

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