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For the first time, Gallup Poll shows majority support for marijuana legalization nationwide

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator October 17, 2011

    NORML's Chart of Legalization Polls - data compiled by Russ Belville from various organizations asking a form of the question "Should marijuana be legalized in America?" (click graphic for full-sized version)

    A Gallup Poll released today showed that, for the first time in its 42-year history of asking the question, a majority of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized nationwide.

    Gallup reports that the 50% nationwide support for legalization also represents the first time support has outweighed opposition.  Only 46% of Americans believe marijuana should remain criminalized, with 4% undecided.

    Support for marijuana legalization remains greatest in the Western states (55%) and majorities support legalization in the Midwest (54%) and East (51%).  Only voters in the South still oppose marijuana legalization (44%).  Men still support legalization at a much greater rate than women (55% vs. 46%).

    Support is also greatest among younger Americans (62%), Democrats (57%), and liberals (69%).  However, support for legalization has increased even in demographics generally opposed to legalization.  Compared to Gallup’s poll last year, support increased 4% points in the South, 12% points in the Midwest, and 6% points among 50-64, but fell 1% among 65+.  Support rose 6% points among Republicans, and 4% points among conservatives. Marijuana legalization is becoming more popular with just about everyone.

    Gallup Polls Support and Opposition to Marijuana Legalization 1969-2011

    One third of jurisdictions in the United States – 16 states plus District of Columbia for 17 out of 51 – exempt medical use of cannabis from criminal prosecution.  Yet the federal government has initiated a new full-court press against these jurisdictions in an attempt to kill the burgeoning medical marijuana industry.  This despite Gallup’s most recent poll to ask about legalizing medical marijuana (in 2003) showing 75% support nationwide.

    One might think this escalation in the War on (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco-Free) Drugs is designed to hamstring the state initiatives to legalize marijuana in 2012 by cutting the purse strings of the movement.  When three-quarters of Americans support legalizing medical cannabis use, half support outright legalization of all cannabis use, and one-third of the states are openly defying federal prohibition, federal retribution in service of the status quo is inevitable.

    Since 2005, support for marijuana legalization is up among all demographic groups polled.

    The question is: what will you do to push the issue over the tipping point?  Register to vote?  Contact your legislators?  Join a local NORML chapter?  Contribute to National NORML?  Get educated on the issues?  Join together with like-minded women?  Reach out to seniors?  Follow the latest marijuana news?  Learn from the experts?  These latest federal actions should show you that they aren’t going to legalize marijuana any time soon – it’s up to you to act now.

    Post updated to fix a mistyped “fell” to “rose”

    207 Responses to “For the first time, Gallup Poll shows majority support for marijuana legalization nationwide”

    1. brian says:

      This outlandish move by the controllers if alcohol, tobacco, and firearms plan these moves of course, but its great to see the people saying what they want, hopefully we will stand up against any further tyranny.

    2. [...] nuevamente: Colorado, Oregon, Washington. En dos de los tres el sí le lleva amplia ventaja al no.La mayoría quiere la droga en un mercado distinto al ilegal; no porque la droga sea buena, sino porque su prohibición es insostenible financiera y [...]

    3. [...] Colorado, Oregon, Washington. En dos de los tres el sí le lleva amplia ventaja al no.La mayoría quiere la droga en un mercado distinto al ilegal; no porque la droga sea buena, sino porque su prohibición es insostenible financiera y [...]

    4. [...] diese Graphik von NORML zeigt, wächst die Zustimmung für eine Cannabis-Legalisierung in den USA seit 1990 [...]

    5. [...] As 50% of Americans now support marijuana legalization, the prohibitionists are coming out in full force with hysterical propaganda to once again terrorize voters about cannabis.  We intended to scour multiple sources to compile the five most common scare tactics they use, but Joseph Summerill, director of the Summerill Group LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based law enforcement think tank and general counsel for the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, made our job easy by using all five in one op-ed piece published today in the Washington Examiner entitled, “Facts on medical marijuana are stubborn things, too“. [...]

    6. [...] Last week, dripping with irony, at the very same time the Obama Administration was stiffing the American public’s most popular action petition (for marijuana legalization) and was declaring all-out war on medical marijuana through the DOJ, IRS, etc., at this very same moment in history, we saw the huge verification of the success of NORML’s steady approach, the fruit of decades of work changing public opinion on subject of pot legalization. FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1969, WHEN GALLUP POLLS STARTED ASKING THE QUESTION—50% OF AMERICANS NOW BELIEVE MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGAL!! [...]

    7. [...] want to legalize marijuana are the majority of the American population. In 2011, NORML wrote that half of the country supporting legalization of marijuana. Over one year later, this had jumped 9 percent, with a [...]

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