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HISTORIC HIGH: 58% of Americans Want Marijuana Legalized

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 22, 2013

    Gallup released new polling data today that shows an overwhelming majority of Americans want marijuana to be legalized. According to their survey, 58% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, while only 39% are opposed. This is up significantly from the last time Gallup polled the question in 2012, when only 48% of Americans were in favor and 50% were opposed. For historical perspective, the first time they surveyed this question in 1969 a paltry 12% of Americans were in favor of legalization.

    The support for marijuana legalization has seen unprecedented momentum in the past several years. Gallup observes, “Whatever the reasons for Americans’ greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States. Advocates of legalizing marijuana say taxing and regulating the drug could be financially beneficial to states and municipalities nationwide.”

    “The American people have opened their eyes to the failure that is marijuana prohibition and there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Following the successful passage of marijuana legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington in 2012, the people of this country see that a new approach to marijuana policy is both required and possible,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “The majority of Americans now agree that it is time to legalize and regulate. The issue can no longer be ignored or sidelined. Legalization is now the mainstream position and supporters of perpetuating our war on marijuana will continue to be further relegated to the fringe.”

    The strongest support was coming from those ages 18-29 (67%), ages 30-49 (62%), Democrats (65%), and Independents (62%). The only major demographic groups lacking majority support are those 65+ (45%) and Republicans (35%).

    Full poll results can be viewed here.

    71 Responses to “HISTORIC HIGH: 58% of Americans Want Marijuana Legalized”

    1. Never thought I would see if legal in my lifetime, guess I was wrong. . .makes me happy.

    2. Angi M. says:

      These numbers are great but are these numbers being sent to the house, senate or any other government officials or the president? Do they care how many lives can be made better? Do they care about all the sick people dieing who could be saved by this wonderful plant? God gave this plant to us to be healthy. Doctors know it helps in many many ways! The government is very wrong to keep us from this harmless plant! They are not doctors! What right for they have to keep people from medicine that cures? We the People should have the right to medical treatment! We the People should have the right to be listened to! The government should work for us not against us!

    3. Don Devine says:

      Any political party could seize this issue as an opportunity to expand its power base in the polls by making it a platform issue. They could and should it come to fruition, promptly screw it up as only government can. This issue needs responsible legislation by representatives that are forward thinking and truly concerned for what is good for the American people.

    4. Michael says:

      This is very exciting. I kind if feel like it’s less due to more people understanding that marijuana is not dangerous and has medicinal qualities that can immensely improve the quality of life in many , than it is due to the old people that were opposed to marijuana in 1969 due to government propaganda and lies are now dying off and the next generations are and always have been increasingly in favor of it. The younger generations are more in favor of it because they have tried it, due to its wide, non-age-restricted availability, and have found that they like it and are not afraid of it. The availability of it being due to the black market in which it has been sold only giving more evidence to the fact that the war on drugs has failed.

    5. Galileo Galilei says:

      I wonder how much money we’ve spent to relearn the lesson of prohibition.

    6. Miles says:

      We have the information readily available on the internet for these polling numbers. In the past, before the internet, we had little choice but to take the Govt’s word for it that marijuana is an extremely dangerous substance. Most of us now know better!

      One huge question is: Why hasn’t either the Democrats or Republicans capitalized on this issue since the one that does stands to win greatly?

      For now, I am very much Independent and will absolutely NOT vote for anyone that wants to continue prohibition.

      I live in VA and will definitely be voting for Independent candidate Sarvis for Governor!

    7. Joel: the other Joel says:

      It will even get HIGHER with no more political and social stereotyping citizens who want it legal.

    8. Shirneice Wheeler says:

      This is the first time in history that you have a majority who have either smoked pot or know someone who has. The scare tactics the government has used in the past no longer work. ‘Marijuana Madness’ is considered a joke, not a warning.

    9. Evening Bud says:

      @ Michael

      I agree with much of what you say. While I believe the education of the people on the issue of MJ has certainly helped, as had the legalization of MMJ in many states, I also believe it is a case of changing demographics. The old-timers who grew up afraid of MJ, saturated as they were with propaganda, are dying off, and being replaced with young people who harbor no such fears.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–just a matter of time before the majority of the country has legalization. The parties and most of the politicians will fall in line as the polls continue to show more and more Americans favoring legalization. They’ll have no choice if they want to stay in office.

    10. Angela says:

      I don’t know why its illegal to begin with….so the pharmaceutical companies can make their billions

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