(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States are willing to legalize marijuana, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 53 per cent of respondents support this notion, while 43 per cent are opposed.
Less than 10 per cent of respondents support the legalization of other drugs, such as ecstasy, powder cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or “crystal meth” and crack cocaine.
The use of marijuana is illegal in the U.S. except in some regulated cases of medical use. The amount allowed for such purposes varies depending on the state. Some states have passed laws to reduce law enforcement for possession of small amounts of the substance.
In May, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, ruled out a push to legalize marijuana, adding, “I’ve never advocated legalization and certainly the president has made it clear that’s his position.”
53% support for marijuana legalization! This is a nationwide sampling with a margin of error of ±3.1%, which means that unless the sample was wildly inaccurate, we can safely say a majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization.
The question asked was “Do you support or oppose the legalization of each of the following drugs?” with no further explanation. With no prompting about the possible economic benefits of taxing cannabis or points about reforming criminal justice, with just the blanket term “legalization” which could lead to a range of solutions from strict marijuana pharmacies to open farmers’ markets, in other words, a question most likely to get the lowest favorable response, we just got 53%. 61% of Democrats and 55% of Independents support legalization, while only 43% of Republicans agree.
In another question the poll asked “The term “War on Drugs” has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade. From what you have seen, read or heard, would you describe the “War on Drugs” as a success or a failure?” 68% of Americans called it a failure, with two-thirds of Democrats and Republicans agreeing it’s a failure and over three-fourths of Independents. About 70% of respondents across all political and geographic demographics agreed that “America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.”