Earlier this year, a NORML-commissioned national Zogby telephone poll revealed that a record 44 percent of American voters — including nearly six out of ten adults on the west coast — now believe that cannabis should be “taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.”
Since then, several additional polls have confirmed that the nation’s support for legalizing marijuana has never been higher, and is fast approaching “super-majority status.”
In fact, a recent poll sponsored by Oaksterdam University indicates that support for legalization among Californians has already achieved such vaulted status (well, almost).
Today two more polls are reaffirming America’s new “marijuana Zeitgeist.”
First, in California a new Field Research Corporation poll of 901 registered voters found that 56 percent of voters agree with the statement: “Legalize marijuana for recreational use and tax its proceeds.”
According to pollsters, this is the first time ever in a California Field poll that a majority of voters have endorsed regulating the adult use of cannabis. In February, California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced legislation — Assembly Bill 390: The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act — to tax the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. To date, over 8,000 NORML supporters have contacted their state representatives in support of AB 390, which is expected to be taken up by the state Assembly early next year.
Nationally, a just-released ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,072 adults finds that a record 46 percent of all Americans now favor “legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” This total is more than double the percentage of Americans who responded affirmatively (22 percent) to a similar ABC poll question in 1997!
ABC NEWS/WASHINGTON POST POLL: HOT-BUTTON ISSUES
46 percent of Americans now favor legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use, the most in data back to the mid-
1980s and more than double its level 12 years ago. While 52 percent remain opposed, that’s down from 75 percent in the late 1990s and 78 percent in 1986.
The biggest changes in the past two decades are 29- and 27-point advances in support for legalization among Democrats and independents, to 49 and 53 percent, respectively. The slightest: a 10-point gain among Republicans, to just 28 percent support.
So much for the myth that supporting marijuana law reform is ‘politically suicidal.’ In fact, if you are a politician — or President — whose constituency leans Democrat or Independent, it’s becoming increasingly likely that more of your supporters favor legalization over prohibition, and if you want to stay elected, you should too!