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Gallup: Most Americans Want The Federal Government To Butt Out Of State Marijuana Laws

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director December 11, 2012

    Sixty-four percent of Americans oppose federal interference in state laws that allow for the legal use of the substance by adults, according to a random sampling of 1,015 adults by Gallup.

    On Election Day, voters in Colorado and Washington approved measures allowing for the personal use of cannabis by those age 21 and older. Both of those state laws took effect in recent days.

    According to Gallup, 64 percent of respondents do not believe that the federal government “should take steps to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in those states.” Only 34 percent of respondents agree that the federal government should take actions to interfere with the implementation of these laws.

    Gallup also reported that more than four out of ten respondents who oppose legalizing cannabis believe that the Administration should nonetheless respect state laws allowing for its legal possession, use, and sale.

    The poll further reported that Americans are evenly divided on whether or not cannabis ought to be legal. Forty-eight percent of respondents endorse marijuana legalization while 50 percent of respondents oppose it — an increase in opposition of four percent since 2011.

    Support for legalization was highest among those age 18 to 29 (60 percent) and weakest among those over age 65 (36 percent). Half of self-identified Independent voters back legalization, as do 61 percent of Democrats. By contrast, only 33 percent of Republican voters support legalization.

    The Gallup findings regarding legalization are lower than those reported by other polls, including surveys by Public Policy Polling (58 percent support for legalizing cannabis), Angus Reid (54 percent), and Quinnipiac University (51 percent).

    14 Responses to “Gallup: Most Americans Want The Federal Government To Butt Out Of State Marijuana Laws”

    1. [...] NORML Blog This entry was posted in Blog and tagged Feds, Legalize, NORML. Bookmark the permalink. ← [...]

    2. HmmmSaysDavidHume says:

      Unfortunately the Feds have shown no proclivity towards respecting either state’s rights or individual liberties – not now, nor ever before, including the epic battled between Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, and others. I suspect that once attention turns away from back room budget deal making to who hates who the most, Justice will be more belligerent than ever. They’ve lost the arguments on moral grounds, they’ve lost the argument on factual grounds, so in typical fashion the oppressors in power will oppress even more to punish the citizenry for defying their authority. It’s the way of those in power.

      ‘Much that passes as idealism is really disguised hatred or disguised love of power’ – Bertrand Russell

      ‘The Department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6th in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.’ – Jenny Durkan, US Attorney.

      Notice how the response does not discuss morality, or any facts regarding the Drug War or the cost to taxpayers? Notice how she parrots the ONLY leg left to stand on, and even suggests the only way she will not continue her office’s belligerent behavior, is for Congress to change the law? A convenient endorsement of what she believes – that nothing the people want matters. She does not say she has discretion on where to allocate scarce department resources. She does not say they could be more effectively used elsewhere. No, she instead makes a thinly veiled warning that they are coming. They only await the Fiscal Cliff resolution and some brave soul(s) who would be so arrogant as to begin distribution.

      I hope this is not the case. I fear it is. Please do not become complacent, America. Your liberties are being stolen, systematically and brazenly. The fight for truth and freedom is not yet done.

    3. Elaine says:

      I wish someone would poll people to find out how they feel about the punishments given to otherwise good law-abiding people just because they get caught with a small amount; or even sell a small amount. What is someone gets caught growing a plant or two in their own house for their own use? Surely most people, even those against legalization, would have to agree that the punishment in many states is way out of proportion to the so-called crime!

      Personally, I think anyone should be able to do just about anything they want as long as they don’t hurt others. I belive this is what the founders of this country had in mind when they wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    4. TheOracle says:

      Get that bill passed by the December 21, 2012 deadline!

      Why are they fucking around with scheduling the bill? They need to put it on the agenda and get it up for the vote.

      This is the peak time. Congress will fuck up our chance if they raise taxes and cut funding because then they will come after the cannabis community and try to enforce federal prohibition BECAUSE they will still be of the mindset that they have money to waster. I hope both the Democrats and the Republicans realize how out of touch they are. I mean, you can’t just say only the Republicans are out of step on this issue, although mostly.

      Barry, you’ve been laughing us off so far. Now, you have to see it’s more than just the Internet Folks! You should bitch out your advisers about getting this issue wrong. Fuck that politician from Texas who said you fried your brain on drugs–drag that politician through the mud.

      Barry, have faith, be brave, just get it done.

    5. kevin says:

      Well “we the people” have spoken and “they the few” are not listening so unless they want another civil war I suggest they clean their ears out and spread the bull shit where it belongs: On a field that’s pasture land for cows.

    6. TheOracle says:

      Joe Biden had better do a 180! He’s been talking shit about legalization in Washtington state and Colorado. You see, Barry! This is the kind of shit I’m talking about.

      This is going way back, but if I remember correctly, Biden wrote a forward to the Controlled Substances Act. This shit has got to stop. I mean, if ever there was The Man you could physically point to, you know, to blame for all the arrests, high numbers of minorities in the criminal justice system, it’s fuckin’ Joe Biden. He’s known for putting his foot in his mouth, and now it’s time for you to put your foot up his ugly ass. He has just got to quit his ugly talk. I mean, he sounds like Newt Gingrich when he spouts out-of-touch shit like that.

      Mason Tvert just sent me the link to sign the We the People petition to stop Biden from making further gaffes. He has got to get his name in the New York Times and Rolling Stone for giving legalization the green light.

      Order him to shut the hell up, Barry, or throw him figuratively under the cannabis money train.

    7. Galileo Galilei says:

      Any ideas on why the findings differ from earlier studies?

    8. BobKat says:

      I find it interesting that 60% of people age 18 – 29 overwhelm the consensus from other age groups. When I was that age, back in the 70′s, the opinion was similar, only back then every stopgape was pulled by the federal gov’t to PUSH the “fact” cannabis/marijuana was the most dangerous drug, and I mean DRUG out there. Ironically, like sheep, many went on to believe the gov’t wouldn’t lie about such a thing – people made families, people developed lifelong suppliers so they didn’t have to deal with uncertainty and threat of arrest and they lived their lives, providing the benefit of the doubt to the gov’t that pot was bad.

      How do I know this? “The (person on the)road less traveled…” over the years as I sat smoking pot with everyone from laborers to CEO’s I’d ask two questions. 1) Do you think pot is dangerous? The answer “No.” 2) Do you feel pot should be illegal? The answer “Yes”. Why? “Because it’s illegal and unlike alcohol and tobacco which are legal, and harmful, pot must be far more dangerous if it’s illegal. So, “it should be illegal so my children don’t start using drugs”.

      The logic floors me – but there it is. What happened in WA and CO to me is the resounding voice of sanity. After all these long years of ZERO OPENMINDEDNESS suddenly there is – my BA educated opinion – sanity and commonsense.

      The federal gov’t really doesn’t have a leg to stand on to continue to outlaw cannabis. It has a patent for cannabis pharmaceutical rights. There are synthetic THC drugs on the market. The addiction hazard of cannabis may be psychologically impressive, but no one is subject to the same physical addictions that alcohol and tobacco provide.

      The federal government simply cannot stand there and tell me President Obama is wearing clothes should he not reschedule cannabis and actually interfere in states that legalize cannabis.

      It hardly matters now that 50% 0f this 30% of that, 60% of them feel such and such… there’s simply no reason to continue the facade that cannabis/marijuana is the “bad guy” it’s been said to be. It’s time to stop the hurt and get real about cannabis. The HURT comes from the laws and misinformation.

    9. marv says:

      Bout time to give the people the right to speak freely and vote without the scare tactics..it’s long overdue

    10. Jerry says:

      Please sign and share this as much as possible. The wording makes it very difficult for them to give us lip service as its really about the legality of alcohol and tobacco according to the controlled substances act.

      https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/please-explain-american-people-why-marijuana-illegal-while-alcohol-and-tobacco-which-kill-millions/95csbdMf

    11. Brian Griffin says:

      “No more oppression!!!

      We as American adults with free will
      have the right to use marijuana if we choose to…!!!

      Enough government profiteering under the guise of morality!!!
      Enough with this phony War on Drugs!!!”

    12. Dustin says:

      The following link is a response to the white house’s response to all the legalization petitions. Sign up and sign all the legalization petitions.

      https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/use-common-sense-drug-dealers-dont-id-children-retail-outlets-will-response-legalization-response-66/KFmGh4kQ

    13. flydon says:

      All supporters MUST write the White House!Power in a democratic society is in the numbers!

    14. =) smile says:

      LIGALIZE MARIJUANA IN ALL STATES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

      S -smoke
      M -marijuana
      I -it’s
      L -legal
      E -everywhere

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