Record Number of Americans Want to Legalize Marijuana

Categories: Marijuana
cheech-marin-tommy-chong-823951221.jpg
The new patriotism
It seems that marijuana -- and what people think about it -- is constantly dominating the news, whether it's California's doctors calling for the magic plant's legalization, or the country's law enforcement establishment reminding us it is in fact verboten.

Proving that even the nationally based pulse-takers of our society have nothing better to talk about, The Gallup Organization made marijuana legalization a centerpiece of its recent Crime survey -- and published Monday the poll's highest-ever results.

A record 50 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, according to the poll, which has been conducted every year since 1969. That's noteworthy, but even more notable is the speed with which the tide of American opinion has turned: Only 25 percent favored legalization as recently as 1996.

Is this progress?

Support crept up every year for the poll's first decade until 1978, when a 28 percent favorable mark dipped to 23 percent in the Nancy Reagan "Just Say No" decade, before rising most rapidly in the 9/11 decade, jumping from 31 percent in favor in 2002 to 50 percent today.

What happened? Pot-hating people are dying, for one: 62 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 favor legalization, with respondents aged 65-plus are the least legalization-friendly segment, at 31 percent in favor.

Beyond that, it's difficult to determine from the data exactly what changed peoples' minds. Unsurprisingly, self-identified liberals (65 percent) favor legalization more than conservatives (34 percent). It is a little curious to see that men (55 percent) favor legalization more than women (46 percent).

Save the children, perhaps?

In fact, it could be the system. The poll is released just a few days after President Barack Obama's Justice Department announced its intentions to crackdown on California's state-legal medical marijuana system in ways more destructive than the Bush administration ever did. And in fact, that could be the inciting incident, according to Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

"The Obama Administration's escalation of the 'War on Drugs' and its attacks on state medical marijuana laws are only giving more and more Americans the opportunity to realize just how ridiculous and harmful our prohibition-based drug laws are," Franklin wrote in a statement. "Momentum is on the side of reformers, so it's no wonder the drug warriors are getting scared and ramping up their attacks."

The poll surveyed 1,005 Americans of all ages in 50 states and Washington, D.C., and has a error of 4 percent. So it's not perfect -- and it's also mostly irrelevant, as poll-takers don't make laws, and the respondents weren't members of the Senate -- but it's still a milestone.

"If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues," the poll's authors write, "pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes."

You mean a democratic democracy? Keep dreaming, you loony pollsters.

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EU
EU

save freedom justice , well done west people !

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

If you are a Prohibitionist then you owe us answers to the following questions:

#1. Why do you rejoice at the fact that we have all been stripped of our 4th amendment rights and are now totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government with a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into our homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary?

#2. Why do you wish to continue to spend $50 billion a year to prosecute and cage your fellow citizens for choosing drugs which are not more dangerous than those of which you yourself use and approve of such as alcohol and tobacco?

#3. Do you honestly expect the rest of us to look on passively while you waste another trillion dollars on this ruinously expensive garbage policy?

#4. Why are your waging war on your own family, friends and neighbors?

#5. Why are you so complacent with the fact that our once 'free & proud' nation now has the largest percentage of it's citizenry incarcerated than any other on the entire planet?

#6. Why are you helping to fuel a budget crisis to the point of closing hospitals, schools and libraries?

#7. Why do you rejoice at wasting precious resources on prohibition related undercover work while rapists and murderers walk free, while additionally, many cases involving murder and rape do not even get taken to trial because law enforcement priorities are subverted by your beloved failed and dangerous policy?

#8. Why are you such a supporter of the 'prison industrial complex' to the extent of endangering our own children?

#9. Will you graciously applaud, when due to your own incipient and authoritarian approach, even your own child is caged and raped?

* It is estimated that there are over 300,000 instances of prison rape a year.
* 196,000 are estimated to happen to men in prison.
* 123,000 are estimated to happen to men in county jail.
* 40,000 are estimated to be committed against boys in either adult prisons or while in juvenile facilities or lock ups.
* 5000 women are estimated to be raped in prison. 

#10. And will you also applaud when your own child, due to an unnecessary and counter productive felony conviction, can no longer find employment?

According to Paul Craig Roberts, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal and former assistant secretary to the treasury under Ronald Reagan, "Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public."

"Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’, fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents."  – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

There is no conflict between liberty and safety. We will have both or neither.
William Ramsey Clark (1927--)

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

If you are a Prohibitionist then you owe us answers to the following questions:

#1. Why do you rejoice at the fact that we have all been stripped of our 4th amendment rights and are now totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government with a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into our homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary?

#2. Why do you wish to continue to spend $50 billion a year to prosecute and cage your fellow citizens for choosing drugs which are not more dangerous than those of which you yourself use and approve of such as alcohol and tobacco?

#3. Do you honestly expect the rest of us to look on passively while you waste another trillion dollars on this ruinously expensive garbage policy?

#4. Why are your waging war on your own family, friends and neighbors?

#5. Why are you so complacent with the fact that our once 'free & proud' nation now has the largest percentage of it's citizenry incarcerated than any other on the entire planet?

#6. Why are you helping to fuel a budget crisis to the point of closing hospitals, schools and libraries?

#7. Why do you rejoice at wasting precious resources on prohibition related undercover work while rapists and murderers walk free, while additionally, many cases involving murder and rape do not even get taken to trial because law enforcement priorities are subverted by your beloved failed and dangerous policy?

#8. Why are you such a supporter of the 'prison industrial complex' to the extent of endangering our own children?

#9. Will you graciously applaud, when due to your own incipient and authoritarian approach, even your own child is caged and raped?

* It is estimated that there are over 300,000 instances of prison rape a year.
* 196,000 are estimated to happen to men in prison.
* 123,000 are estimated to happen to men in county jail.
* 40,000 are estimated to be committed against boys in either adult prisons or while in juvenile facilities or lock ups.
* 5000 women are estimated to be raped in prison. 

http://www.loompanics.com/Arti...

#10. And will you also applaud when your own child, due to an unnecessary and counter productive felony conviction, can no longer find employment?

Private prisons are publicly traded and their stock value is tied to the number of inmates. Here's what the UK Economist Magazine thinks of the situation: "Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little" http://www.economist.com/node/...

According to Paul Craig Roberts, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal and former assistant secretary to the treasury under Ronald Reagan, "Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public."

"Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’, fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents."  – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

There is no conflict between liberty and safety. We will have both or neither.
William Ramsey Clark (1927--)

women shoes
women shoes

this needs to happen in the next 40 years or else my retirement plans have to change dramatically.

concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let's put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. Let's let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.You can email your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Ele... to discuss HR 2306, the bill that would repeal Federal prohibition.And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

 Here's one way that IT IS REALLY WORKING: Arresting the criminals and collecting a fee from registered growers (and bringing in thousands of dollars to support the county budget); what a great plan! This is the way to build a better America! http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/... 

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Cui bono?  If it's illegal to grow and sell the stuff, why on earth do the feds allow local and state politicians and lawyers get so much $$$$ from "donations" fees, and taxes?  Can you imagine the state legalizing sex with minors, saying that the taxes raised will support foster children, and the feds doing nothing to those politicians?  It's clear even the feds don't think pot is all that bad, or they would go after the policians for racketeering at the very least.  And it's up to CONGRESS to dump the laws, NOT the courts, and NOT the prez. 

Vivian White
Vivian White

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Diane Goldstein
Diane Goldstein

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition will help to end the war on drugs. Join us at www.leap.cc to help return police officer to peace officers.

Iza Koon
Iza Koon

LEGALIZE MARIJUANA and SHOOT WETBACCKS------NO JUSTICE ---NO PEACE!!!!!!

women shoes
women shoes

of course they do! Reefer madness has been debunked for years, respected doctors and researches support the legalization, it would seriously reduce cartel power, and actually help suffering patients, not to mention less dangerous than many legal substances.It grows quickly and can be used in producing paper leaving the tress and forests to repopulate, clothing and oil could be utilized. Its a win win for everyone but criminals, cartels, lobbyists working for pharmaceutical, tobacco and etc huge corporations

Paulieta
Paulieta

Mr. Obama,Do you REALLY want to keep the Demon Weed out of the hands of our nation 's children?THEN LEGALIZE IT-control it exactly like wine.You are obviously NOT looking to be re-elected because if you were, you'd keep your MAD DOG on their leash!~(The DEA)You grow it, pay tax on what you SELL, and that's it!~Simple?-YES. Doable? Not while ANY SITTING SENATOR holds office.WHEN the MONEY to LEGALIZE becomes GREATER than the money to prohibit-We win!-Oh, wait- the DEA....Here's an idea. REORGANIZE THEIR MANDATE. Eliminate the ONDCP and their excessivly expensive disinformation campaign

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

The illegal drug trade is now estimated to be somewhere in the region of $400 billion a year ( equal to the defense budget ). This "former land of the free" arrests 1.5 million of it's citizens a year for drug law violations, half for marijuana alone, The majority of the 2.2 million inmates in the USA are incarcerated because of this insane drug war (Prohibition 2) at a staggering cost to all taxpayers and trauma to their families.

Prisons have been filled to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for these so called drug offenders. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. These laws take violent criminals and turn them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries such as Columbia, Panama, Mexico and Afghanistan. The extreme violence on and south of the border is drug gangs fighting for turf in this lucrative business. The drug laws are also funding the Taliban whose illegal opium profits allow it to buy weapons and pay it's fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan policemen. 

When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently, while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process. Were the users of alcohol to blame for the St Valentines massacre in the US in 1929? Of course not! It is just as naive to assume that one can compel all the users of Marijuana or Cocaine to simply quit, as it is to assume that all the users of Alcohol should have stopped drinking after the introduction of alcohol prohibition in 1919.

The definition of insanity is great folly, madness, extreme senselessness, lunacy. Prohibition can be described as being all of the above and may therefor, along with all it's supporters, be deemed insane.

Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s inquisition­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate who’s sole purpose is to make the rest of us suffer their putrid legacy of incalculable waste and destruction.

Protect our Children; Legalize, Regulate & Tax!

Donatas
Donatas

1) EVERYONE that sees these links sign up and weigh in on the debate - http://pvox.co/CdiFqY - http://wh.gov/gDQ - http://wh.gov/gf3 2) Propagate those  links and ensure that everyone that sees them go to those sites. Too many people are blaming the President for enforcing the federal marijuana prohibition. Contact Congress (the LEGISLATIVE branch [that's the important one when it comes to law]) via the first link. Contact Obama (the EXECUTIVE branch [until Obama vetos a passed H.R. 2306 it's on Congress - but tell Obama anyway]) via the second and third link. It really is THAT easy. Participate in democracy!

Steve Coscia
Steve Coscia

Transparent shameless thievery at it's finest by the worst of the worst

concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.   If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let's put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. Let's let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.   Here's one way that IT IS REALLY WORKING: Arresting the criminals and collecting a fee from registered growers (and bringing in thousands of dollars to support the county budget); what a great plan! This is the way to build a better America! http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/...   The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. You can email your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Ele... to discuss HR 2306.And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.   If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let's put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. Let's let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.   Here's one way that IT IS REALLY WORKING: Arresting the criminals and collecting a fee from registered growers (and bringing in thousands of dollars to support the county budget); what a great plan! This is the way to build a better America! http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/...   The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. You can email your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Ele... to discuss HR 2306.And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

Purplebankwarp
Purplebankwarp

For the most part it is a white middle class drug. The middle class is use to getting what they want.  They usually have an intellectual new age explanation. On the other hand, it is 10 times less toxic than cigarettes, an equal opportunity addiction. But did you know, that most people who finish college quit? I guess, they feel special. I think it time to share the oxygen. Don't wait for them to give you permission. You will be waiting a long time. Believe me, many have made that mistake. TIme to get back to SHARING $$$$$

jetsom
jetsom

It seems like quite a non-white, non-middle class drug as well, but I can't say with as much certainty as you which ethnic/class stratum gets the "most part."

pauliebub
pauliebub

I used to be a pot smoking plumber and accidently ran hot water to a toilet!  So... I don't think I want a doctor, lawyer, nurse, mechanic, carpenter, or anybody providing serivice to me while under the influence. And it stays in your system for a looong time.

Rampworm
Rampworm

I would not want a boozed up plumber working on my pipes either.  Drink or Smoke it is the same thing really.  Your response was stupid.   

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

We just need idiots like yourself to stop running hot water to toilets!

Karnaxero
Karnaxero

Fyi most of the ppl that smoke it are in thise circles , a lot of sucessful profesionals smoke weed and perform like any other , so stop blaming your own inate dumbness on marihuana and take responsability for your own stupidity .

jetsom
jetsom

I assumed you worked stoned. It doesn't seem to me that smoking some after work impairs performance one bit.

User123445
User123445

What does using it on the job have to do with anything? Additionally, it may be detectable for a few days to a week for light users, however,  it has no psychoactive effect after enough hours have gone by...and certainly not the next day.

User123445
User123445

The numbers in favor would be much higher if so many of those against it weren't so misinformed. Ignorance reigns. 

StevelImages
StevelImages

Yet Obama has authorized this latest federal war against medical marijuana. Why is that? It's because Obama knows that California is in the bag for him in 2012 no matter what he does. He can crack down on medical marijuana to placate his right-wing contributors, without risking a single electoral vote. 

What a fraud this guy is.

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Ask then why our CALIFORNIA ELECTED REPS IN DC have done BUPKUS about changing the laws!

jetsom
jetsom

I agree. Strange non-sequiter from Guest.

Guest
Guest

You're right Bush was wayyyyy better.  He would never lie to the American public or do anything underhanded to get more votes.  That's why his approval rating was so high when he left office.

Marijuana should be legalized for the pure reason that it would bring billions of dollars and countless jobs into our struggling economy.  I guess conservatives don't really understand that notion according to the statistics.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

I guess conservatives don't really understand that notion according to the statisticsSome of them do, and so do some liberals.  The problem is *neither* of the major parties want to get behind it.  There needs to be a push from within both parties for it to happen.

User123445
User123445

Did he say Bush was better? Did he imply it? Ummm, no. Newsflash: Even liberals have a lot of problems with Obama. He's hasn't done anything he said he was going to do and in fact, has often done quite the opposite. 

Rnq2012
Rnq2012

You sir, need to go read about what he has done instead of listening to all the things Fox News says he hasn't done.

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