• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Poll: 55% Support Legalization Of Marijuana

Marijuana Plant

A new poll shows that a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana:

A majority of Americans thinks marijuana should be legal, a new poll finds, with support steadily increasing over the past few years.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed thought using pot should be legal, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday night, compared with 44 percent who said it should not be.

Among those aged 18 to 34, support was 67 percent to 32 percent, and for those 35 to 49 years old, it was 64 percent to 34 percent.

According to General Social Survey trends, this year is the first time that more Americans support legalizing marijuana than oppose it.

Most Americans also disagree that pot is physically and psychologically harmful, and by a smaller margin disagree that using marijuana leads to using other drugs. A slim majority, 50 percent to 48 percent, believe it is addictive.

Much like public attitudes toward homosexuality and same-sex marriage, this is quite a substantial change in public attitudes in a very short period of time and it’s reflected at least in part in the developments we’ve seen over recent years reducing the legal impact of marijuana possession and use.  As, this map from Wikipedia demonstrates:

US Pot Laws

 

In this map, light green represents states where at least medical marijuana is legal, olive green represents states where the possession of at least some quantities of marijuana has been decriminalized, dark green represents states where both medical marijuana is legal and possession has been decriminalized, and purple represents the two states where it has been, for the most part, fully legalized. They represent nearly half the states in the country at this point, they include some states that are, to say the least unexpected (pot is decriminalized in Mississippi? Who the heck would have expected that?), and they are likely to be joined by several sister states in the year to come. Given the demographics, the numbers in this poll as are unlikely to change as the polls that support same-sex marriage. So, we can expect to see further liberalization of laws related to marijuana in the years to come.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dyre42 says:

    I’m curious as to what a map of cities that have reduced possession of less than one ounce has been reduced to ticket-able (rather than arrestable) offense would look like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    pot is decriminalized in Mississippi?

    The MGA (Marijuana Growers Association) has a very strong lobby there with a very substantial war chest for campaign donations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Nikki says:

    So, we can expect to see further liberalization of laws related to marijuana in the years to come.

    It’s a good thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  4. al-Ameda says:

    I think marijuana use should be mandatory for at least 27% of the country, certainly for Tea Party members.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. Rafer Janders says:

    They represent nearly half the states in the country at this point,

    And since many of the other half of states don’t actually have any people living in them, the marijuana-leaning half of states represent an overwhelming majority of actual Americans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. rachel says:

    @al-Ameda: It would give the “Tea Party” a whole ‘nother image.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Pinky says:

    Politics is downstream of culture. The survey data may be showing sudden changes for marijuana legalization and gay marriage, but Will and Grace and Cheech and Chong have been laying the groundwork for this for decades. The Summer of Love was in 1967 and Hollywood has been pushing Haight-Ashbury values ever since.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  8. Electroman says:

    @Pinky: And Haight is love. Seriously, I’m a conservative and I support this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    The Summer of Love was in 1967 and Hollywood has been pushing Haight-Ashbury values ever since.

    Really? Do you have ANY examples of this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. Pinky says:

    Any examples of Hollywood promoting gay marriage, free love, and marijuana use in the past 46 years? I suppose I could come up with one or two movies or TV shows.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  11. grumpy realist says:

    As I’ve repeated many times, legalize anything you can grow in your back yard…..as long as it’s simply one of those plants that you dry out and smoke/chew/make tea with/whatever. It’s the purification that causes all the problems.

    No one ever got a buzz off poppy seeds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. JKB says:

    Legalize it. Then tax and regulate the hell out of it. Nothing will harsh your buzz faster than the government man coming round for his cut.

    But that is no reason to keep destroying lives over a weed where most of the bad effects come from government draconian actions to suppress it. And besides, it’s not like the government is any good at suppressing controlled substances.

    It’s more like they are “control” substances. Products that the government can gin up “probable cause” with to control and oppress the citizenry at discretion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  13. michael reynolds says:

    All of the arguments against legalization have been refuted a million times. But it still takes decades to move the culture on this. It’s similar to the SSM issue in that there’s never been an intelligent reason to oppose it, but somehow SSM actually outpaced legalization. Weird.

    I will probably never understand how people can lose an argument not once but a hundred times in a row and still not conclude that they may just be wrong. I am convinced neither God nor unicorns exist but if Jesus came flying in on a unicorn tomorrow I’d change my mind. Obviously.

    People seem to believe there’s some virtue in remaining stubbornly wrong. I don’t get it, but I imagine religion which requires one to believe transparent nonsense is at least part of the cause. Religion redefines “stupidity” as “faith,” turning vice to virtue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  14. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:
    To my knowledge, there was no mention of Gay Marriage during the so-called Haight-Ashbury Summer of Love days back in 1967. Free love and marijuana smoking have been a Hollywood obsession since 1967?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Not unless Judd Appatow is much older than he looks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Scott O says:

    We seem to be living in an unusual time. Public opinion on things like this and gay marriage are changing very rapidly. I wonder if the internet is the cause.

    @Pinky:
    I sure miss the good old days when the movies had lots of guns and bombs. Now it’s all naked gay hippies smoking dope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott O:

    I blame the movies for the fact that we are constantly overrun by aliens and giant robots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  18. stonetools says:

    I must say I am amused when Doug approvingly cites majority support for marijuana legalization and SSM and predicts based on this that :

    Given the demographics, the numbers in this poll as are unlikely to change as the polls that support same-sex marriage. So, we can expect to see further liberalization of laws related to marijuana in the years to come.

    When it comes to background checks for gun purchases, though, Doug’s attitude is 180 degrees different. Then overwhelming majority support for gun safety legislation is a sign of danger that majorities will tread on the crucial constitutional rights of the gun loving minority….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: creo, quia absurdum est.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Grewgills says:

    @stonetools:
    To be fair, two of those expand rights and one limits a right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Rob in CT says:

    There are powerful interests against ending the drug war, so we will need more than 55%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. edmondo says:

    This is excellent news for Frito-Lay

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  23. Matt says:

    @edmondo: Sadly it’s too late for little debbie :(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: No, I am just not sure about this. And I know I might just be on the outside looking in, but I know of too many people that are spending big money on this stuff, and their kids do without food and other things. They are out roaming the streets while their parents are sitting at home on a couch on a “trip”. Then the police drive up and all h_____ breaks loose. Our community, state, and national leaders need to speak to the people to stay off of drugs. There are things people can do that would be far better than getting some sort of drug induced-psychological “high”, far healthier, and more beneficial to society. Here is a short list: join a bowling league, exercise, get involved in a church, go to the local library, go hunting or fishing, take up a hobby, help out at a local school, work with the scouts, help the elderly, go to movies and concerts (school music programs are free), join a neighborhood association and community watch. Many churches offer effective programs that can get people off this stuff and turn their lives around. These are wholesome, family type activities. These are what people used to do.
    The president needs to address this issue with the country. He needs to do it before more states start to allow this stuff and it gets out of control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  25. Davebo says:

    @Tyrell:

    How about we all just get together, burn a few, and then go bowling?

    Because lord knows no one has ever tried a mind altering substance while bowling. It would be something totally new!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  26. anjin-san says:

    Many churches offer effective programs that can get people off this stuff and turn their lives around.

    Really? Do share the details.

    Churches are doing their part, they let AA & NA hold meetings. Leave this stuff to the people that actually know how to help and forget all the crap about bible thumping, killing animals, and pathetic feel-good programs like D.A.R.E.

    I’ve been clean and sober for 24 years, but I would get stoned before I would kill an animal – but that’s just me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. anjin-san says:

    it gets out of control.

    The resulting shortage of brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and Doritos could shake the foundations of our country.

    Grace Slick’s Rescue Rabbit

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. anjin-san says:

    Now it’s all naked gay hippies smoking dope.

    The absence of movies about naked lesbian hippies smoking dope is bringing me down…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0