Angus Reid Poll: 55 Percent Of Adults Support Legalizing Marijuana

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 9, 2011

    Fifty-five percent of American adults support legalizing marijuana, up from 52 percent in 2010, according to the results of a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll.

    Pollsters conducted an online survey of a representative national sample of 1,003 American adults. A solid majority, including 63 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of Independents, said that they endorsed the legalization of marijuana.

    Forty percent of those polled said that they opposed the idea and five percent were undecided.

    The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.1 percent.

    The Angus Reid results are slightly higher than those published by other polling firms, such as Gallup, which use random digital dial sampling.

    More men (57 percent) than women (53 percent) voiced support for legalizing cannabis. Respondents between the ages of 35 to 54 were most likely to support legalization (57 percent); however, a majority of respondents from every age group polled – including those age 55 and over – said that they backed making marijuana legal.

    No more than ten percent of respondents said that they favored making any other illicit substance legal.

    Read the full poll here. Then contact your member of Congress and inform him or her that a majority of Americans support HR 2306, the ‘Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011,’ and that it’s time for them to support it too.

    45 responses to “Angus Reid Poll: 55 Percent Of Adults Support Legalizing Marijuana”

    1. […] Reid Public Opinion via NORML] /* ← Israel makes moves to legalize medical marijuana, cabinet approves […]

    2. Ned says:

      While that’s encouraging, the fact that the poll was an “online survey among 1,005 American adults who are Springboard America panelists”, may have an element of self selection the affected the results. Which isn’t a big deal, and maybe it didn’t too, but at least it’s heading in the right direction.

      The fact that the same poll had legalization of other drugs down at 7-10% is interesting too. People obviously still believe in “prohibition” as a policy concept, but feel the pot is actually “OK” enough to lift the prohibition on it, while continuing other prohibitions. That is certainly worth doing but it would MUCH better if people understood how bad prohibition itself is. In order to really end the Drug War and begin to heal society from all the damage, we have to end prohibition generally and put in place well crafted regulations for each substance. People are still a ways from understanding that. I guess if we could get pot legal then they might begin to see.

    3. Joel: the other Joel says:

      People are saying “yes” with confidence and without fear.
      Also, it makes perfect sense.

    4. Brandon says:

      Wow! That 3% is above average for the recent yearly support growth! I have to say it, public support WILL tip in favor of pot. Seriously a very large majority of people that I know have either tried pot, still use pot, or support pot legalization (with widely varying age, gender, even sexual orientation, and this is in a very conservative, un-supportive State [Georgia]). Another thing: to say pot is a literal gateway to hard drug usage is like saying a pretty girl made you want to have sex with her and get her pregnant. It just doesn’t add up! GO REFORMERS!

    5. Dave Evans says:

      Right, all these substances are different, have different affects and therefore should be differing policies set by scientific evidence, not superstition–which is where we are now.

      Unlike cigarettes and alchol, marijuana is non-toxic. So it should not be treated like it is toxic. Save that behavior for some material that is toxic/dangerous.

    6. Gerry says:

      We agree weed should be legal we shouldn’t to worry about jail time over small amount of weed…..

    7. The American Genesist says:

      55% is a grand old number for total legalization – and – would win if put to a vote. However, this number doesn’t reflect that percentage that remains in the closet [with damned good reason]. If asked what % favor legalizing medicinal cannabis – that number increases drastically. Either way – if put to a vote – legalization in both cases would prevail. How does one explain that to one’s voting base? Right! – they don’t – they just lie their asses off.

    8. Owen says:

      #8 – you took the words right out of my mouth.


    9. BobKat says:

      Yes, that’s very encouraging, and should be something politicians/lawmakers already are aware of, however, if our country’s lawmakers were polled, 95% would most likely say penalties should be increased; especially for casual users, that the drug war itself should be made more of a national priority, with cannabis as the prime target of focus, “being the scientific fact it is the gateway drug and primary source of the drug problem in America”; that to legalize cannabis would mean NEW TAXES, and teh Tea Party Republicans have made themselves very clear – “No New Taxes, No New Revenue Sources”.

      Besides, if cannabis is legalized what the hell are they going to give the nation’s law enforcers to do for work? Stop Human Smuggling??? Enforce financial regulations and fraud??? Enforce underage use of tobacco or alcohol??? Where’s the sense and profits in that???

      Cannabis prohibition isn’t about a free or safer America, or about the rights of adults, it’s about control… the same control that lets domestic abusers get off with a slap on the wrist because there’s no profit in dealing with the issue on a national level.

      The real question is… what makes these lawmakers like Rep. Lamar Smith so out of touch with reality???

      Thank God, there are a few stable, reality minded lawmakers in government like Ron Paul and Barney Frank!!!