NEW POLL: 74% of Americans Support Alternative Penalties for Marijuana

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director April 26, 2012

    A new poll, published today by Angus Reid Public Opinion, looks at the changing attitudes towards marijuana possession penalties in the UK, Canada, and the United States. The poll surveyed 1,011 Americans, 2,015 Britons, and 1,005 Canadians during March of this year. The results show that an overwhelming majority of citizens in these countries no longer believe marijuana possession should result in jail time.

    From Angus Reid:

    Majorities of respondents in the three countries (Britain 56%, Canada 68%, United States 74%) welcome the concept of using alternative penalties—such as fines, probation or community service—rather than prison for non-violent offenders. At least seven-in-ten Britons (70%), Americans (74%) and Canadians (78%) believe personal marijuana use should be dealt with through alternative penalties. Support for similar guidelines for credit card fraud, drunk driving and arson is decidedly lower.

    View the full report here.

    42 Responses to “NEW POLL: 74% of Americans Support Alternative Penalties for Marijuana”

    1. Bob says:

      OK folks its time to make a stand.

      The only thing that can get things done is money and votes. Most of us have voting rights, some have money. Email this message to your elected officials and stand firm. Also send to like minded friends and family:

      To the President, Members of the US Congress, State and local elected officials:

      Criminal marijuana prohibition is a failure. Over 20 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses since 1965 with over 800,000 arrests in 2010. The problem is getting worse – not because of the benign plant, but because of the obsolete laws. The time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

      I can no longer vote for elected officials that support the the current laws. I have decided not to vote for any politician that does not publicly support the removal of all penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.


      Voting Citizen
      & Member of the Movement

    2. Darryl says:

      Hi my name is Darryl Kleinke. Recently I was sentenced to six months in jail and three years probation for driving under the influence of marijuana.
      I have three other DUI’s for alcohol, but never before for marijuana. My first DUI was in 1993, second in 2000 and third in 2007. My thc level was .04ml and from what
      I have been hearing that is such an absurdly low amount, because I barely smoked marijuana at the time and not the day of the arrest at all. I was in school, in Madison and I had a witness
      from my class that was willing to testify on my behalf that I had not smoked at all during school which was a five hour long class. Which was where I left from before being pulled over for speeding.
      I feel like I have been taken big time for a ride to hell.I had the right to appeal my sentence which I was sentenced May 18th 2012. It said I had twenty days to appeal but my public defender was leaving that day for four months for some reason he did not say. I just feel like I am being taken for a fool. I am not a bad person. I have a job, just graduated college and have a wife and three kids. I
      am just a man working to live and for having smoked barely any marijuana and not even on the day of my arrest nor have I smoked since October 4th of 2011 I just want someone to tell me I have a chance to change something. The jail is an hour from my home as well as the probation office. I obviously lost my occupational, which is another thing I worked on getting before my sentencing, and my public defender told me not to say anything at the courthouse because, unknown to me I wasn’t supposed to get it without the courts permission, but I asked my public defender if I could well before my court date and he said I could. I have been tying for a transfer to my county (Washington) from Dodge where it took place but am having trouble. I can’t afford to lose my job. I was hoping you could help me or knew someone that could since my public defender has left me hanging with no answers and I am running out of time.

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