General Social Survey: Majority Of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legal

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 4, 2015

    General Social Survey: Majority Of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legal The majority of Americans say that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to nationwide polling data provided by the General Social Survey. The GSS is a bi-annual scientific survey that collects data on social trends within the United States.

    Fifty-two percent of respondents endorsed legalizing marijuana – an increase of nine percentage points since GSS pollsters asked the question in 2012. Forty-two percent of respondents said that they opposed the idea.

    GSS pollsters have been tracking Americans’ views regarding marijuana legalization since the early 1970s. In 1990, only 16 percent of respondents backed legalizing the plant. The just-reported 2014 survey data marks the first time that the General Social Survey has ever reported majority support for legalizing cannabis.

    Separate national surveys by both Gallup and the Pew Research Center, among others, have previously documented that most Americans now favor legalizing the plant.

    50 responses to “General Social Survey: Majority Of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legal”

    1. TheOracle says:

      Can the Governor of Pennsylvania issue and executive order making cannabis legal? I vaguely recall Ken Krawchuk, once upon a time Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, talking about just that.

      New Governor unveiled his budget proposal this week, which will tax Marcellus Shale extraction and better fund social services, public education, etc. Then I hear on the Philadelphia news that Mayor Nutter wants to raise property taxes by 9%. Ouch! It’s necessary, he says, in order to fund Philadelphia public schools sufficiently. If Philly legalized weed for adult recreational, that would be a great, steady revenue stream that could offset those property tax increases. What would Governor Wolf do? I’m hoping he would just let the city do it, and not interfere. It would be a poke in the eye of cannabis prohibition on the I 95 corridor, and become the place to go buy it and bring it back, especially since DC is in a holding pattern and de Blasio S T I L L hasn’t legalized in NYC. Cuomo and Christie, that will be cannabis money that’s LEGAL that your states WON’T be getting. Better jump on the cannabis train. Choo! Choo! Choom Gang!

    2. jeff says:

      our government needs to start listening to Americans, not American corporations. at least one of the two political parties are listening to the people and not the big business lobbyists and their, so called, think tanks. it doesn’t require a genius to figure out which party is against legalization.

    3. Raven says:

      Now let’s see how long it takes congress to catch up with the public.

    4. Julian says:

      Last survey in Texas was “%68” in favor of marijuana legalization.

      Is that sweat I see on Governor Abbot’s brow? He looks nervous… Somethin wrong Governor? You look PALE! Somebody get the governor a vaporizer!!

    5. Trojan72 says:

      Just legalize it! That’s enough of the legislation. Let’s see how fast we can get this (Washington, D.C. concept)of legalization on the national ballot for the voters to decide. Three cheers for Mayor Bowser of D.C. “We the people wish we had more good politicians like Mayor Bowser that cares about what “We the People” vote for!!!
      I think the courts and President Obama should just go ahead and save time by going ahead and nationally televising that cannabis is no longer illegal, that no more tax dollars will be wasted on this foolish, greedy victimization of the fine American citizens that deserve to have this natural medicine without ANY MORE HASSELES fro the government. No selling, but you can grow your own if you wish and if a friend, neighbor is in need of some good natural medicine or herbals, then we the people are hereby granted full right to give away freely to someone in need for no compensation. This will stop those cartels dead in their tracks!!! No more government sponsored drug dealing police protected informants on every street corner. And no more of government creating prisoners, stealing pride and building prisons to house victims of government pre-meditated crimes.

    6. BobKat says:

      52% of the population. I assume that’s the adult population.

      More than half of the adults in America. Considering the punishment for the crime, how many favor legalized homicide, rape, assault, burglary, child abuse – all which carry penalties ranking marijuana use just as dangerous to society.

      52%… and it’s still like a major crime in most states. That’s wrong.

    7. mexweed says:

      @Oracle, thanx for reminding me of Choo Choo Choomette!

      What’s in a word? Barry might not have known it 3 decades ago but “choom-” is a pretty good reduction of “chillum” and accordingly a “choomette” is a pretty good name for a flexdrawtube one-hitter which has a chillum-like piece (maybe with a 5.5-mm-diam. screened crater created by cramming a properly sized socket wrench into the top end of a properly drilled & decorated woodpiece about the size of a typical chillum and attaching a flexible (usually pvc) drawtube to the butt end.

      I have long felt the choo choo train was the most sublime modern invention along with the bicycle and the symphony since Joe Haydn. The smooth forward progress of the mind (LEAP Long-term Episodic Associative Performance stream of preciousness/precociousness) inventing ideas as fast as you can type or draw is what leads me to the comparison of cannabis or its empowerment to a choo choo train.

      To see readable scores of “railroad” symphonies go to IMSLP International Music Scores Library Project. Read while listening, while your finger moves across the page keeping up with the music. Try Dvorak “New World” (“Here’s a choo choo, first comes the engine, and then a car, and then a car, and then a car, toot toot!”), Sibelius 3 (finale: “a big new choo choo train!”), Tchaik. 5 finale, Nielsen 5 finale, last 100 seconds of Beethoven 7 (prophetic), last 2 minutes of Brahms 1.

      Score-reading while listening is co-ordination-educational for everybody, especially children, but even more so after a couple of tokes.

    8. markl says:

      If the gov takes m.j. off schedule 1 then take a nation wide vote ,,ill bet you its over 75% will vote yes for total legalization ,,for sure medical will pass …,

    9. Raven says:

      Better yet; Let’s see what SAM’s spin on this poll will be. This will be very entertaining.

    10. phrtao says:

      Out of the 42% that oppose legalisation I wonder how many would really do anything about it or complain. I think most would accept it even if they did not think it was the right thing to do.