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. Onyxwolf:
    the argument you should use is to refer them to nataional transportation safety board or any national auto insurance statistics, combined with the history of med.mj or decriminalization states. You’ll see a high inverse correlation between marijuana permissiveness and traffic accidents and fatalities. Meaning: states where med.mj is allowed or weed has been decriminalized actually have a LOWER traffic accident/fatality rate proportionate to the population of that state, while the most restrictive states actually have some of the HIGHEST accident/fatality rates.

    This issue needs to be discussed and aired much further. The statistics are all there, plain and simple. you can see for yourself. it’s pretty clear that marijuana legalization would NOT create a traffic hazard

  2. This is enough to end prohibition now -if you register as R or D and VOTE IN YOUR STATE’S PRIMARY ELECTIONS!

    General elections for Congress and state legislatures are rarely competitive. If you’re represented by a prohibitionist incumbent and want to see them replaced, you need to support a primary challenger like this dude:

  3. An increase from 47% to 56% in a year. WOW! Where is this going?

    It will be interesting to see what the number is next year.

    [Paul Armentano replies: You are comparing apples and oranges. The previous Rasmussen poll, showing 47 percent support, asked a separate although related question, so a direct comparison of the two polls is inappropriate. That said, similar poll questions regarding legalizing marijuana by Gallup and Angus Reid in recent years have also shown public support to be in upwards of 50 percent.]

  4. Cannabis DOES have medical benefits. Since returning from Vietnam in 1969, I’m now fighting my 4th major cancer. Wasn’t supposed to survive cancer’s 1 and 3. Both parents died from alcohol related abuse. Study history of why marijuana was criminilized in the 1930’s for bogus reasons; stop the gov’t campaign based on lies about cannabis and treat it like alcohol. The Founding Fathers saw no reason to outlaw pot and they were a lot smarter than Hoover and Anslinger.

  5. Too profitable to keep it illegal. If i was a ruling elite id NEVER allow for full legalization you can keep people to wrapped up in fines and probation and more. Plus legalizing pot would make the government have to give its populace more freedom and looking at laws passed all time here in our good ol U-S-of-A that constantly seek to limit freedom, well it just sound a little laughable. They want to nanny us into submission. No wel keep hearing crap like decrim and more but its just designed too keep in our lives. Nope more freedoms granted by our government is a “pipe” dream.

  6. Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for the user as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects, and affects literally every organ in the body. Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds on reforming pot laws. I drew up a very cool poster featuring Uncle Willie Nelson and The Teapot Party for the cause which you can check out on my artist’s blog at Drop in and let me know what you think!

  7. What kind of numbers do we need to at least get a response or real debate on this issue? I thought for sure once it was over 50 but its up to 56% and Obama just pretends we don’t exist.

  8. Get the approval numbers up to 99%. Prove that marijuana cures cancer and extends a healthy active life to age 150. Doesn’t matter. The pharmacutical companies are never going to allow a medicine that can be grown in your backyard for free.
    Elect Ron Paul, elect Gary Johnson, hey, while we’re all stoned elect Willie Nelson president. Again, doesn’t matter. Because the President doesn’t make the law, congress does.
    You can’t have your dope and vote for one too.

  9. Marijuana and Driving

    Marijuana as a drug does NOT produce an impairing effect; BUT the marijuana high can be impairing. The whole thing that marijuana is an impairment just like alcohol is ridiculous and a lie for prohibition. Yes, to the inexperienced cannabis user, the high can be overwhelming and cause the user to become impaired or unable to physically move or be mentally coherent. The beginner user or intermediate user (smoke a few times a month or even once a week) might experience impairment, especially if they have not been stoned a lot. Then there is the experienced user (people who consume cannabis multiple times per week or multiple times per day) who becomes so familiar with the experience that he/she can do ANY physical or mental task as second nature but with more creativity and passion. There are world class high snowboarders, or basketball players and scientists, artists, writers, etc., that actually excel in their craft being under the influence. Personally, I can tear up ANY paddler on the water when I’m medicated. I agree there should be laws against driving under the influence of marijuana to cover ALL the bases; but in the real world, marijuana drivers are NOT nearly as bad as drunk drivers, hand-held device user drivers, or even caffeinated drivers, for example. The government only recognizes the effects of marijuana on a beginner and never the established user/patient. Society and the marijuana legalization movement needs to differentiate between the beginner, intermediate and advanced cannabis user and not lump all pot users as zombies crashed out on the couch starring at the wall while munching on Funyons. NO… I’m a pot user and I ride a mountain bike better than YOU!

  10. My question to the killjoys on this message board: can you EVER get over your cynicism? Sometimes I think you’re actually plants–trolls who’re paid by the Feds (eeek, the awful Feds, oh my!) to stay negative no matter the news.

    I’m happy as hell that 56% are in favor. To me, this means legalization is drawing inexorably closer. It may take ten years; it may take fifty–but I’ll NEVER give up hope.

    You, on the other hand, are the same type of people, who, in earlier times, said African-Americans will never get the vote; Women will never get the vote; alcohol prohibition will never end; the military draft will never be abolished; the speed limit will never go above 65 MPH–the MAN will never allow it–waaah waaah waaah!

    Somehow I get the feeling that you’re the same type who voted against Prop 19 in Calif last year. Don’t know why, but I get that feeling.

  11. Hey Brandt Hardin very nice Job on the Willie Nelson Poster. Willie Nelson Rocks!!!

  12. Question for Paul:

    One poster here mentioned that the pharmacuetical companies will never allow a medicinal plant to be grown in thier own back yard for free.

    What gives the pharma companies the right to “ownership” of any drug?

    [Paul Armentano responds: Assuming they have privately produced the product, and conducted the research and development of said product, it is their intellectual property. Obviously, the cannabis plant does fit within this paradigm.]

  13. America, land of the 1,001 baby crib recalls, and home of the happy meal. It’s getting so thin you can see right through it! Piss on you safety freaks, legalize!

  14. Whenever I wonder how such an otherwise free society as the U.S. can send a SWAT team to prohibit me from going in my backyard, pulling a leaf off a plant, and smoking it.
    Whenever I wonder how a legal system built upon “unailienable god given rights carved in stone on every courthouse” can always claim an exception when it comes a weed, only different in one way from the hundreds of other weeds no gives a @$#% if I have in my yard.
    Whenever I hear conservatives bemoan laws against burning trash in your yard when it hasn’t rained in three months, letting mental patients purchase assault weapons, having to pay taxes to live in the greatest, most affluent nation in history, yet in the same breath call for the govt. to impose urine testing on everyone because that is the only way they can tell if I have partaken in a dangerous, gateway, blah blah blah.
    Whenever I hear liberels go on how it’s non of the govt business what I do in my own home but yet call for only a kinder, gentler, prohibition of weed.
    Whenever I wonder why Ron Paul isn’t the Ronald Reagan of our age or why Gary Johnson isn’t the Tea Party’s messiah.
    Whenever I hear Republican and Democrat politicians wax nostalgicly about their own youthful experiences then pivot 180 degrees
    to protect the children from this dangerous plant which ruins lives, and futures.
    Whenever I wonder how an issue that claims 10% ( which should be more than enough to make anyone seeking public your @^$A%@#) 20, 50, 56% 99% yet still has less political pull with congress ( which again makes the laws) than the National Association of Mosquito Breeders.
    Whenever I run across a friend from my youth, who smoked with me thousands of times and now owns a drug testing company.
    Whenever I watch the tide of public opinion swing to our side, like in the 70’s
    the 90’s and now, and eventually recead like in the 80’s the 00’s. Making about as much difference as each wave makes on a beach.
    Whenever I am perplexed by all these absurdities and hypocracies over a drug that’s basically reverse coffee.
    I come to this sight, and read the Yes We Can (left) Get the Goverment off our Backs (right) posts about how were going to change the system not by dangling money in front of our politicians (which we don’t have, I don’t at least) like the oil companies and pharmacutical companies do. Not by offering a somewhat united voting bloc does ( I don’t know why, no politician seriously running for office would want to antagonize even 10% of the vote, this WE COULD DO) like the NRA od AARP does. Next November hundreds of elections will be decided, almost none by an 10% margin. No were going to do it by preaching to the choir and by begging our elected leaders to do the right thing, the logical thing, and maybe that’s were we ourselves are being absurd.

  15. Obama knows as all pliticians do that voters have long term memory loss on the issues. If obama is smart he will reschedule marijuana to 3 about 2 weeks before the election. This will get the pot smoker vote out and stay in our minds for the long time of two weeks if hes lucky, and by waiting he dose not lose the big pharma, private prison, police union, tobacco and alcohol money that he needs to win.

  16. Just legalize it and everything is going to be ok there is no problem so I,m grow my own cannabis female plants, what wrong with that!
    Still illegal? I can,t grow my own plants.

  17. OK folks its time to make a stand.

    The only thing that can get things done is money and votes. Most of us have voting rights, some have money. If ya have some money to spare – contribute to Normal or a like organization and/or email this message to your elected officials and stand firm. Also send to like minded friends and family:

    To the President, Members of the US Congress, State and local elected officials:

    Criminal marijuana prohibition is a failure. Over 20 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses since 1965 with over 800,000 arrests in 2010 and each year the number increases. The problem is getting worse – not because of the benign plant, but because of the obsolete laws. The time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

    I can no longer vote for elected officials that support the the current laws. I have decided not to vote for any politician that does not publicly support the removal of all penalties for the private possession and endorse responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.


    Voting Citizen
    & Member of the Movement

  18. The first post hit the nail right on the head. I would like to take this point a step further. If mariijuana is safer than alcohol, wouldn’t legalization of marijuana save lives? The people that would switch to smoking pot and give up drinking and driving, would be less likely to kill innocent people and or themselves in traffic fatalities. This would be just one facet of how legalizing marijuana would result in lives being saved.
    Finally, by not legalizing marijuana and keeping alcolhol legal, we as society are responsible for more people dying in traffic fatalities than would be dying in traffic fatalities if marijuana were legal.
    p.s check out my song “feel free in america” on

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