Most Americans Want Legal Marijuana

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director April 4, 2013

    For the first time since they began polling the question four decades ago, Pew Research Polling has released new survey data that reveals 52% of Americans want marijuana to be legalized. Only 45% were opposed.

    This support is spread across demographics. The Baby Boomers (50%), Generation X (54%), and Millenials (65%) all have majority support for legalization. The only age demographic that remains opposed is the Silent Generation, those born before 1942, though support in this age group has also significantly increased. 32% of this age group now support legalization, up from 17% in 2002.

    According to this polling data, most Americans have also tried marijuana personally. 48% of respondents answered affirmatively when asked if they consume marijuana, up from 38% about a decade ago.

    Not only are Americans becoming more supportive of legalization, but there has been a dramatic change in how Americans view marijuana use. In 2006, Pew Research found that 50% of Americans believed smoking marijuana was “morally wrong” and only 35% did not think it was a moral issue. Today these numbers have completely flipped, 50% of Americans responded in this latest survey that using marijuana is not a moral issue and only 32% stated it was morally wrong.

    60% of Americans across all political orientations also believe the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that legalize it. 57% of Republicans, 59% of Democrats, and 64% of Independents believe the federal government should leave states like Washington and Colorado alone.

    You can view the full results of this survey here.

    36 Responses to “Most Americans Want Legal Marijuana”

    1. me says:

      When blacks refer to each other as “niggers” they disrespect themselves and teach whites that it’s ok to use that word. When gay people don’t stand up to gay bashing then, essentially, their co-signing that behavior. And when people who use Marijuana allow themselves to be referred to as “pothead”, “stoner” or worse, we allow ourselves, to be de-humanized and bullied with derogatory remarks. I don’t think I’ve ever referred to someone who has a particular preference for vodka or beer as a vodka slut or a beer pig. So, I am not a “stoner” or a “junkie” So what am I? I’m me. And that’s all I need to be.

    2. Steven says:

      I again with the maijauana bill pot needs to be legalization

    3. Janet says:

      Mike, You are so right. I’m not quite sure what generation I’m in; born in 1943. I was of that mindset too. Son, drasticly injured in auto accident with lasting disabilities, and his girlfriend, suffering with MS have changed my mind. Just read “Smoke Signals” by Martin A. Lee and it is a real eye-opener. Wish every American would read it. Something must be done! I was hoping President Obama would get the job done, but he has been disappointing in this area. I wrote him an email. Perhaps if we all do so, it could make a difference. Hate my son and Linda living in fear, and only three miles from the Colorado State line.

    4. Mike says:

      the so called “silent generation”, was raised on the thought that you must listen, without question to what you are told by authority, and your elders. They were brain washed into believing that marijuana was this terrible thing that caused black jazz musicians to rape white women, and cause you to go mad, those who grew up around it and or using it understand that most of what was said thru propaganda is completely false. The fact is marijuana is less dangerous than tobacco and alcohol, as far as that goes more people die each year from allergic reaction to peanuts….With our federal and state economies in the shape they are in, how can we not give legalization a chance. From fuel alternatives, saving our forests, decreasing the amount of money spent on building new prisons to house the over abundance of prisoners, many who are there on marijuana related charges, medical uses…the list goes on and on….Legalization only makes sense to those who have an open mind, and the will to educate themselves.

    5. Midknight says:

      I would rather be around someone who is stoned than a drunk any day. IMO the situation should be reversed as for legality. Alcohol is resposible for destroying more childhoods and families than marijuana has or ever will. It defies common sense.

    6. Len says:

      I remember 40 years ago I told my father that I smoked pot. He made me move out. He also told me that if presented with 2 job candidates, equally qualified, he would not hire one of them if he smoked pot.

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