According to new poll, majority of Americans support marijuana legalization

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator December 10, 2009

    A majority of Americans say "Legalize It" in 2009

    (Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States are willing to legalize marijuana, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 53 per cent of respondents support this notion, while 43 per cent are opposed.

    Less than 10 per cent of respondents support the legalization of other drugs, such as ecstasy, powder cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or “crystal meth” and crack cocaine.

    The use of marijuana is illegal in the U.S. except in some regulated cases of medical use. The amount allowed for such purposes varies depending on the state. Some states have passed laws to reduce law enforcement for possession of small amounts of the substance.

    In May, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, ruled out a push to legalize marijuana, adding, “I’ve never advocated legalization and certainly the president has made it clear that’s his position.”

    53% support for marijuana legalization! This is a nationwide sampling with a margin of error of ±3.1%, which means that unless the sample was wildly inaccurate, we can safely say a majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization.

    The question asked was “Do you support or oppose the legalization of each of the following drugs?” with no further explanation. With no prompting about the possible economic benefits of taxing cannabis or points about reforming criminal justice, with just the blanket term “legalization” which could lead to a range of solutions from strict marijuana pharmacies to open farmers’ markets, in other words, a question most likely to get the lowest favorable response, we just got 53%. 61% of Democrats and 55% of Independents support legalization, while only 43% of Republicans agree.

    In another question the poll asked “The term “War on Drugs” has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade. From what you have seen, read or heard, would you describe the “War on Drugs” as a success or a failure?” 68% of Americans called it a failure, with two-thirds of Democrats and Republicans agreeing it’s a failure and over three-fourths of Independents. About 70% of respondents across all political and geographic demographics agreed that “America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.”

    104 responses to “According to new poll, majority of Americans support marijuana legalization”

    1. David Patterson says:

      Hemp legalization will save the world’s economy. By allowing farmers to grow hemp, our economy will get a big green boost! Industry will spring up everywhere hemp is allowed to grow. Free the hemp plant and give back American farmers their God given birthright to sow hemp as far as the eye can see!

    2. MatterofLiberty says:

      so 70% of the coutry agrees on something? And the people who get their checks from the American people dont think this is a key issue!? Wasn’t SB 716 supposed to get some action today?! I cant wait to see what the 2010 polls say. people are getting less afraid to talk about this

    3. TheOracle says:

      Fantastic! Let’s implement my plan to legalize it and use it to stabilize Afghanistan by getting their farmers to switch to cannabis from opium poppies and set the world market and have all cannabis products traded in U.S.dollars. The U.S. needs these revenues and so does the rest of the world indirectly. Once the U.S. economy is back on its feet from revenues from a previously untapped and untaxed commodity, it can recover and lead the rest of the world to recovery. The U.S. basically needs to stop pissing away so much wasted money on cannabis prohibition, and use it and the soon-to-be above the radar commerce to spare the non-cannabis businesses from taxation, hopefully give them some tax relief to further spur job creation and growth.

      And then there are the so totally obvious medicinal benefits, of which I would like to share in, and be legally treated with cannabis. I have cancer and am NOT a criminal, and can currently NOT get my medicine in Pennsylvania.

    4. Paul B. says:

      Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy is an employee of the American people, as is President Obama. In a democracy, majority rules, so they can do what their bosses tell them to do, or look for another job.

    5. Chris Smith says:

      This news is awesome! You just have to wonder, whats the real holdup here in this society run by it’s citizens? Oh, that was 1776 when we were a truly free society that had control….Damn!

    6. david says:

      so now how do we legalize it now that everyone knows people need weed to survive or else we all will just drink which is the real problem.

    7. PressureKook says:

      53% is more than the favorable rating for President Obama today. I heard the fearless leader is somewhere between 46 – 48 percent. Seems like he’s trying to reach the 43% range of American’s opposed to legalization the rapid way his ratings are dropping.

    8. jason says:

      the ppl have spoken …now will the gov. listen??????

    9. randy nc says:

      Gotta love those polls, huh? I guess that means the prohibs will be kicking the spin machine in high gear before Gallup polls come up with a similar number. Pretty soon it won’t matter how they word the question and the polls will be in our favor and they can’t have that and do biz as usual. Don’t want to spend money on education and health when we can use it for domestic war games, right?

      I know, I know this is more good news and I should be more positive about it so….. Wooohooo!!!!

    10. Joel from PA says:

      This is telling.

      How much longer until we only vote for people who’s platform includes legalizing cannabis? A problem with this is that if we abstain our vote, others will vote and the process will still happen and yet again someone else will end up in office who is against legalizing cannabis. We need to focus our votes on a single politician who will actually stand up for the country’s beliefs. How can something be taboo if the majority of the nation is in favor of it? Someone out there please just recognize. This could all be over quickly with a simple 2/3 majority congress vote and the president’s signature.