NEW POLL: 56% of Americans Want Legal Marijuana

On May 12, 2012, Rasmussen Reports conducted a survey of 1,000 likely voters nationwide. They asked, “Would you favor or oppose legalizing marijuana and regulating it in the similar manner to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are regulated today?”

The poll affirms, once again, that the tide of public opinion continues to turn in our favor. Fifty-six percent of respondents stated they would support legalizing and regulating marijuana in a similar manner alcohol and tobacco. Only 36% were opposed to the concept and 8% were undecided.

You can view more information about the poll on Rasmussen Reports’ website here.

A previous poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports in April reported that 47% of adults “believe the country should legalize and tax marijuana in order to help solve the nation’s fiscal problems.” Forty-two percent of respondents disagreed, while ten percent were undecided.

In 2011, a nationwide Gallup poll reported that 50 percent of Americans support legalizing the use of cannabis for adults. Forty-six percent of respondents said they opposed the idea.

The 2011 Gallup survey results marked the first time that the polling firm, which has tracked Americans’ attitudes toward marijuana since the late 1960s, reported that more Americans support legalizing cannabis than oppose it.

111 thoughts

  1. That’s right.

    Not only has the prohibition of marijuana failed, and not only has it squandered significant amounts of American resources-
    but

    -marijuana has killed NO ONE
    -enforcement of prohibition has.

    who is exactly being saved here? and from what?

  2. I will not vote for ANY politician Republican or Democrat that does not SUPPORT legalizing marijuana and regulating it in the similar manner to the way alcohol and tobacco. I am changing my party affiliation to republican so that I can vote for Ron Paul. I will not vote for Obama until he takes this issue seriously, and quit being so hypocritical as an admitted (former?)marijuana user himself.

  3. Somehow this significant development hasn’t caught the attention of the main stream media even while medical marijuana polls have. Odd since full legalization eliminates the need to have official permission for medical use.

  4. If more than 50% of people support it, does that not make a majority. Maybe my college professor lied to me in government class. He told me that the governement is a representative of the people and that they are supposed to fight for what we want. If they are all fighting against it and we are fighting for it, sounds like the system is broken. OR the government is souled/sold out to the corperations that prifit on prohibition, like pharmaceutical, medical, textile, and oil companies. Even the most ignorant person in this country knows by know that Marijuana is an amazing medicine, a healthy food, and the best industrial product ever. The only excuse left is that it is a gateway drug, which has been debunked as well. If the government really cared about its people they would legalize now. Cut down on violince at the border, cut down on medical spending, raise much needed tax revenue, and regain the trust of the American people. Or they can just keep collecting their billions of dollars from the Big-PHARMA-AGR-OIL monster and selling us down the river. I wont hold my breath and I dont recommend it to you, but the tide seems to be shifting in our favor.

  5. Guess people are finally starting to talk openly about it! Cannabis prohibition cannot hold up to any sort of logical argument. The only argument I’ve had trouble conveying to the “never used before” types is the fact that marijuana is safer to drive on than alcohol. Always have to resort to the “Have you heard about any MVC deaths on Cannabis?” but that’s not always convincing. Any ideas for this argument to bust out on a moment’s notice to debate with less-than-logical prohibitionists / undecideds?

  6. I will also not vote ANY Republican or Democrat that does not SUPPORT legalizing marijuana. Freedom and self-responsibility does make a difference.

    56% and growing!

    I will vote for Ron Paul and for Ted Cruz in the Texas Primaries, and for the general election.

  7. I hate it when people say marijuana has killed no one. It definitely has caused car accidents.

  8. Don’t switch to Republican, vote Libertarian and for Gary Johnson, he supports full legalization and he’s not a demented old religious dumbass like Paul is.

  9. Does anyone honestly believe that 1,000 is a good enough number of people to actually make a representative sample of Americans?
    1,000 makes up about .000003% of the nation’s population. While I really would like marijuana to be legalized, it’s just ridiculous to me when people think that studies like this are even worth listening to.

    As far as the coming election goes, while Obama hasn’t really said anything about marijuana in a while, and it’s clearly not on his list of things to do, voting for anyone other than him will put America in the hands of Romney, who i personally think is the scum of the earth. I enjoy the thought of someone like Ron Paul running for president, but not voting for Obama is like giving votes to Romney.

    [Paul Armentano responds: This is a scientific poll. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Rasmussen is one of the top polling firms in the nation. Yes, you can extrapolate national opinion based on a random sampling, such as this one, when done properly.]

  10. I am big supporter of legalizing marijuana, however these polls don’t mean anything. 1,000 people were sampled and that does not come anywhere near effectively representing the entire nation. They need to increase the sample size in order to gain some real validity.

    [Paul Armentano responds: This is a scientific poll. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Rasmussen is one of the top polling firms in the nation. Yes, you can extrapolate national opinion based on a random sampling, such as this one, when done properly.]

  11. Full legalization = full revenue and children protection. Do it right or leave.

  12. my life is to problematic with just trying to support my family to do this but i notice their aren`t many videos on YouTube talking about legalizing weed their are a few and some of them are like an hour long ,most videos on youtube are just people smoking weed with is fun to watch but their should be people posting short ten minute videos that will capture peoples attention about legalizing weed and others should copy and paste legalize weed all over comments on every video on YouTube people that use Facebook and twitter should be doing whatever they do to this would be easy stuff that alot of people would do

  13. Why the **** isn’t it legal? Because the government has taught its’ people that it’s ‘bad.’ They don’t want to turn around and say no it’s not. Where did WE THE PEOPLE go? It’s not We The Government. Oh wait, it always has been We The Government. They just won’t admit it to keep the people patriotic. Alcohol & cigarettes kill thousands upon thousands per year. Marijuana, zero; except for the violence on the borders and such over marijuana. Why don’t we start paying off our trillions in debt? This could be the way. The government sucks… LEGALIZE.

  14. Also, if you look at the states that have decriminalized marijuana and those states’ incomes and crime rates then you’ll see it does no harm.

  15. Bill,

    >I hate it when people say marijuana has killed no one. It definitely has >caused car accidents.

    Oddly, it may also reduce fatal car accidents:

    “Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with increased
    use of marijuana among adults, but not among minors. In addition, legalization is associated with a nearly 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities, most likely to due to its impact on alcohol
    consumption.”

    So, because some people seem to use marijuana as a substitute for alcohol, and since marijuana impares drivers less, less fatal accidents.

    I’ve seen statistics that suggest you are twice as likely to be in an accident if impaired on marijuana; but, you are also twice as likely to be in an accident if you are male, rather than female.

    http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/papers/viewAbstract?dp_id=6112

  16. Everyone should’ve voted for RON PAUL and FREEDOM

    You’ll NEVER get that with Obama or Rommney

  17. Also, consider the benefits that could be achieved by harvesting hemp for paper products, clothes, food, and many other essentials

  18. You cannot say that marijuana has killed *no one*. Everything has killed someone. Everything. That doesn’t, however, mean it should be illegal. We shouldn’t outlaw water because someone drowned.

  19. Cute cute. Marijuana has killed a lot of people, but in a huge general ratio sense, not much. You know what is also cute? The medical use of marijuana becomes nulled once smoked, and the carbon monoxide severely affects your health in a negative manner. I just hate the fucking assumption that weed is unable to kill, and has killed no one. I had my cousin die from it because his heart condition couldn’t handle it. More down that, others have shared their stories, chemicals react differently in the body. People, just because you feel good from it, doesn’t mean it’s helping you. Just bother to read up on various chemicals that make up marijuana, and the variable reactions that occur when put into the human body, then the variables that occur when mixed together, then keep branching off from there. Then you’ll realize it’s different for many people, and can be deadly, or just like everything else, or just like it was supposed to do stereo-typically speaking.

  20. Oh I forgot something. America is not a democracy, I wish it was. It’s a republic. It’s ruled by the rich, the people in power, and the people with influence. People are able to puppet them to their bidding, however, it’s not ruled by the common people. It hasn’t been like that for centuries. However, majority vote should be where things are legalized or changed.

  21. To the people that say that Marijuana has caused car accidents, so have cell phones. So have fast food drive-throughs. And little kids in the back of the car. AND STUPIDITY! Are you saying we outlaw and criminalize all of these things? Fact is, car accidents happen. Its a risk you take every single time you drive.

  22. Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized!

    The state and local budgetary needs to cut costs and bring in revenues without raising taxes across the board will continue to pressure the politicians to legalize.

    More states need to jump on the bandwagon and legalize.

    More states, especially MMJ states, need to pressure their federal politicians to defund federal cannabis prohibition in MMJ states. States with programs on hold will activate them. States without them will pass legislation once they see the budgetary benefits.

    Rich, fat cat Republicans are not likely to invest heavily with a lot of confidence in the overall stock market if Obama wins re-election because they fear profits will be hurt with his regulations, be it ObamaCare or whatever. His re-election is likely to keep the market churning sideways, unless there is some kind of unexpected game changer.

    Romney may be rich, but he’s also out of touch, not “volksnah” at all. Born rich, doesn’t necessarily mean Romney knows how to build a business from scratch. He’s not Edison or Ford or some other historical American figure who built a financial empire from scratch, you know, without starting off with a ton of seed money. Rich pay intelligent, accomplished non-born filthy rich to run and manage things for them, then sit back and bitch at the board meetings.

    The House screwed up the opportunity to de-fund federal cannabis prohibition. Will the de-funding happen with the expected automatic cuts to take place in 2013 because the so-called supercommittee couldn’t reach a deal while in sequestration. Is that how legalization happens? Via an automatic budget cut? Then states with programs on hold activate, and other states enact MMJ laws. Other states legalize outright, and the feds finally just don’t bother, and Congress basically says why bother and finally legalizes for medical, industrial and recreational–recreational use for adults.

  23. OK, now I’m all for the legalization of Marijuana for recreational use, and even more in favor of legalizing it for medical use where applicable. But, are you really going to assume that after interviewing 1000 people, possibly from very similar areas, that ALL Americans believe marijuana should be legalized? Assuming the opinion of 1,000 Americans equals out exactly to the opinion of 311,000,000 Americans is a bit of a stretch to me.

  24. The prison industry makes huge money, as do local police departments (grants from War on Drugs) from keeping weed illegal. They have huge political influence and will fight to keep the gravy train running.

  25. Much as I want to believe this is accurate, the 36% opposition must be a bit understated. Something like 55-45 in a Springtime poll sounds right, with those numbers tightening up SIGNIFICANTLY after being bombarded by law enforcement rhetoric during the election season campaigns.

    I’ll be more inclined to believe numbers like this if Colorado legalizes this Fall. THEN the wall will truly crumble.

  26. Listen to freekkc!!! In order to get any movement these days really moving, highly informative content must be readily available to the public. I also found that there is a shortage of decent content on HOW to get this medicine legalized. Videos under an hour would be great! Anybody know any good channels that already have this or could highly benefit from this??? Please share – I won’t stop fighting until at least a couple of flavors of cannabis are sitting next to Tylenol and/or Bud Light at Walmart!!! I responsibly medicate with cannabis and am a “rocket scientist” . . . it has only helped my career, which is why I recommend it to everyone!

  27. @ paul, Ron Paul has not dropped out, he is just not asking people for money for more ads.

    I have never heard of an accident, especially fatal ones, as a result of marijuana. If marijuana was “involved”, a joint was smoked after drinking or some other drug taking.

    Accidents involving people that have only taken marijuana are very rare! Using a cell phone to type/text on while driving (not talking) is literally hundreds of times more dangerous. DUI’s for weed are lies.

  28. to ron paul supporters: gary johnson is running on the libertarian ticket and supports legalizing marijuana. if ron paul doesnt run third party vote for him

  29. They’ll legalize it at the last minute to save the national debt. Around the time of the great depression the made alcohol illegal, then later legalized it and made a huge profit. Whose to say they won’t do it again, but with another product in mind. It would destroy the debt and stop most illegal drug trafficking.

  30. The people who support continued Prohibition are victims of false propaganda. Ending the lies IS THE BATTLE.

    Instead of trying to get gutless politicians to outright legalize (or decriminalize), how about trying to get them to pass laws that require that government drug propaganda be backed by actual scientific research? They would look like fools opposing that.

  31. I think people have forgotten the huge levels of schizophrenic mental issues that arises from the use of marijuana. Yes, it has killed no-one directly, but driving while high is far more dangerous than drinking, and mixing alcohol and weed can have severe side effects. Don’t legalise it, the nation doesn’t need it.

  32. “Why the **** isn’t it legal? Because the government has taught its’ people that it’s ‘bad.’”

    Yeah that’s right, the government has been scaring the hell out of people about marijuana for decades. Imagine if the government told the truth about marijuana; and come on TV and started to really educate the public about the medical benefits and psychological benefits of altering your consciousness. Imagine if the government came on TV and said, “We have been wrong all these years about marijuana.” How difficult would it be to sell the public on the economic, environmental, medical, and psychological benefits of a relatively benign naturally occurring plant species to benefit mankind and his pocketbook?

    But instead you got the government telling you that all drugs are the same; and marijuana is as bad as drugs like heroin or anything else in Schedule I. Or that being high on marijuana is like an egg frying in a hot sizzling pan. And the government’s biggest interaction with the public over marijuana is of course arresting them, and sending them ‘harshly’ through the criminal justice system, to send a message to the public to “just say no.”

    Yet you got 56% of the American people who want to legalize something the government has been telling them BAD BAD BAD. So if the government “got real” about marijuana how much more MORE of the public would be in favor?

  33. Response to Paul:

    Ron Paul has NOT dropped out of the race. Get your facts straight before spreading false information. He is just not spending money on the remaining states. He is still actively pursuing delegates.

  34. marijuana cannot be legalized. it’s too easy to grow on your own therefore it cannot be regulated.
    we need some laws to protect our children.
    the best solution would be to decriminalize the weed.

  35. What percentage of voters in favor do we think is needed before legalization cannot be ignored? 60%? 70%? 80%?

    I think it may well be as high (no not that meaning!) as 75% and repeated in several polls. It won’t really happen until people start getting elected to office on a pro-legalization ticket or more to the point they loose on a prohibition stance.

  36. Um not to alarm anyone, but in the scientific community this poll is pointless and unscientific rendering it moot.

    Sorry to burst your campaigning for weed but you can’t base on polling data whether it be at random select group, or a large group for 100,000+,you cannot call it a statistical analysis of Americans judgement… its just wrong.

  37. And yet the president still not only refuses to take a stand for legalization, he and his campaign completely refuse to talk about it at all, calling the subject “inappropriate.” What a joke.

  38. i woul like to comment to bill about he traffic accident comment. weed did not cause the traffic accident’s! people did ! if you are high and can not drive doing so STAY OFF THE ROAD! there just giveing pot a ba rap! and as far as i can see pot has nothurt or killed anyone . it is irreasponsible people smokeing weed that kill! i have been on 7 diferent meication’s from doctor’s for 10 year’s includeing oxycotin! andhate the side efect’ that come with these med’s. with weed i have a level head, can drive just fine, i eat, and sleep. and never have anyside effect’s but happy,hungry , and sleepywhen i need it ! no i am not alwa’ sleepy from it!. but i was suprised to find on a website that makeing paper is a ver expencive biz. and makeing paper wih weed is a lot cheaper t do . it takes 5 acresof tree’s to make x amount of paper.and the tr’s that grew x amount of paper could only be harvested every 10-15 year’s . and it take 2 acres of hemp to make tht same x amount of paper . and it can be harvested about every 90 day’s . so for all of you tee hugger’s o there why in the hel are we cutting down tree’s instead of growing wd for medication,paper ,fuel, ct it makes no sense. but the gov. won’t tell you tht will they!i’m dazed &confused and i il vote for any pres. that is for legalizeing marijunaand get our country back on track . let’s stop fueling mexico’s drug dealer’s and cartel’s.it’s in yorhand’s america . let’s make it legal.

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