New York, NY: More than eight out of ten Americans say that cannabis use for therapeutic purposes should be legal, according to a nationwide CBS News telephone poll of 1,100 adults.
Eighty-three percent of respondents, the highest percentage ever reported in a scientific poll, said that they favor allowing doctors to prescribe specified amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses. This total was up from 77 percent support a year ago and 62 percent support in 1997. A majority of Americans of all ages - as well as a majority of self-identified Republicans, Democrats, and independents - said they support the use of physician-recommended cannabis therapy.
Since 1996, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation allowing for qualified persons to possess and use cannabis with a doctor's recommendation.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents also say that the federal government should not interfere in those states that have enacted laws allowing for the use of cannabis by qualified patients. The poll found that respondents were evenly divided on the separate question of whether cannabis should be legally available to all adults.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.