Fifty-two percent of respondents said, “[T]he use of marijuana should be legalized.” Only 34 percent of respondents opposed the idea.
Support for legalization was strongest among self-identified Democrats (66 percent), those with a household income of $100,000 or more (62 percent), and African Americans (59 percent). Support was weakest among Hispanics (39 percent), those over 65 years of age (39 percent), and self-identified Republicans (36 percent).
Sixty-six percent of respondents agreed, “[G]overnment efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth,” while 62 percent said that the government should no longer enforce federal law in states that have legalized and regulated the plant’s use.
Fifty-three percent of those surveyed, including 68 percent of respondents between the ages of 45 and 64, acknowledged having tried cannabis.
The YouGov.com poll is the latest in a series of national surveys showing majority support among Americans for regulating the adult use of cannabis.
Fifty-five percent of registered voters believe that the personal use of marijuana should be legal, according to national tracking poll data compiled by Morning Consult – a Washington DC consulting firm. Thirty-eight percent of respondents polled said that they oppose legalization and eight percent were undecided.
Majorities of both men (57 percent) and women (52 percent) said that they support legalization. Among registered voters between the ages of ages of 18 and 44, over 60 percent endorse legalizing cannabis.
Majorities of both Democrats (63 percent) and Independents (59 percent) support legalization, according to the poll, while most Republicans (58 percent) do not.
The Morning Consult polling data is similar to those of other recent national polls, such as those by reported by Gallup, CBS News, and Pew, finding that a majority of Americans now support ending marijuana prohibition.
Nearly nine out of ten Americans — including 80 percent of self-identified Republicans — now say that marijuana should be legal if its use is permitted by a physician, according to nationwide Fox News telephone poll of 1,010 registered voters. The poll, released today, was conducted by under the direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) and possesses margin of sampling error of ± 3 percentage points.
According to the poll, 85 percent of voters agree that adults ought to be allowed to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes if a physician authorizes it. The total marked an increase in support of four percent since Fox last polled the question in 2010 and is the highest level of public support for the issue ever reported in a scientific poll.
Although respondents were divided on whether they believed that “most people who smoke medical marijuana truly need it,” the overwhelming majority of voters nonetheless agreed that consuming the plant should be legal if a doctor permits it.
To date, eighteen states and Washington, DC have enacted laws authorizing the physician-supervised use of cannabis therapy. Medical cannabis legalization measures are presently pending in a number of additional state legislatures, including Illinois, New Hampshire, and New York.
Voters in the Fox News poll were less supportive of the notion of legalizing the non-medical consumption of marijuana. The poll reported that only 46 percent of voters favored broader legalization, while 49 percent of respondents opposed the idea. Self-identified Democrats (57 percent) were far more likely to support legalizing cannabis than Republicans (33 percent) or Independents (47 percent). Men (51 percent) were more likely to support legalization than were women (41 percent). Those age 35 or under were most likely (62 percent) to back legalization while those age 65 and older were least likely (31 percent) to be supportive.
By contrast, in recent months national polls by The Pew Research Center, YouGov.com, Quinnipiac University, and Public Policy Polling have reported majority public support for legalizing and regulating the adult use of cannabis.
Despite the overwhelming public support for medical marijuana law reform, legislation in Congress to amend federal law to allow for its use it states which permit it — House Bill 689, the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act — only possess 16 co-sponsors (less than four percent of the entire US House of Representatives). The bill has been referred to both the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health and to the House Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations — neither of which have scheduled the bill for a public hearing.
US Representative and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today reiterated her support for the legalization of medical cannabis and called for congressional efforts to recognize the plant’s therapeutic efficacy.
Speaking to Raw Story, Rep. Pelosi said, “I have long supported efforts in Congress to advocate federal policies that recognize the scientific research and clinical research demonstrating the medical benefits of medicinal marijuana, that respects the wishes of the states in providing relief to ill individuals, and that prevents the federal government from acting to harm the safe access to medicinal marijuana provided under state law.”
“I’ve been very clear on the subject of medical marijuana over time,” she said, “in committee and on the floor as leader.”
Pelosi told Raw Story and other bloggers in attendance at the round table that she believed congress should take action on the issue. Speaking to this point she stated, “I think that it would be really important to do that [address medical marijuana in congress]. It would be hard for anyone to agree with the fact that someone who has HIV/AIDS or has cancer and they find relief from pain in medicinal marijuana that should be something that should be a priority to raid on the part of the Justice Department. Going along with that, we need to address some of the penalties for any non-violent crime that are out there.”
With prominent Democrats such as Representative Pelosi, Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, New York Governor Cuomo, and the Democratic Parties in a growing number of states getting behind marijuana law reform, you have to wonder how long until President Obama realizes his drug policy has fallen out of touch with not just the electorate, but his own party.
You can read more in-depth coverage of the blogger roundtable, along with comments from other legislators on the marijuana issue, by clicking here.
Not to be outdone by the Democrats, whose state parties in Washington, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, and Iowa have all recently adopted pro-reform policies in their platforms, the Montana Republican Party has endorsed medical marijuana at their state convention held on June 16th. The official language from their 2012 platform is as follows:
Medical Use of Marijuana
We recognize that a significant problem exists with Montana’s current laws regarding the medical use of marijuana and we support action by the next legislature to create a workable and realistic regulatory structure.
This endorsement should be taken with a grain of salt, considering it was the Montana Republicans who had previously attempted to veto Montana’s medical program entirely and, when that was not politically feasible, passed SB 423 which greatly restricts the number of patients who may qualify to use medical cannabis legally under state’s voter-approved law.
The Republicans’ endorsement comes just over a week after the Montana Democratic Party adopted a similar resolution. At their convention, held from June 8th-9th, the Democrats also publicly voiced support for medical marijuana in their platform:
WHEREAS, the voters of Montana approved by initiative the compassionate use of medical marijuana
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Montana Democratic Party supports the right of qualified patients, with a medical condition where marijuana is appropriate, to have safe access to medical marijuana.
This provides a rare instance where both the political right and left seem to agree on a single issue.
Hopefully this political support turns into success at the ballot box. Montana residents will be casting their vote this November to decide whether or not to strike down SB 423, a measure passed in 2011 through the legislature that essentially gutted the 2004 voter approved medical marijuana measure already in place. You can read more about the upcoming referendum vote here.
If you wish to learn more about the fight over medical marijuana in Montana, NORML highly recommends watching the documentary “Code of the West” as it does a fantastic job of explaining and detailing the ups and downs in the battle to save the state’s medical cannabis program.