59% of All Americans Want Marijuana to Be Legalized


A new poll, conducted by Huffington Post and YouGov, has support for marijuana legalization at an astounding 59% amongst all Americans – the largest support yet recorded in a nationwide poll. Only 26% of respondents stated that marijuana should remain illegal.

The survey asked 1,000 U.S. adults their views on the legalization of marijuana and provided them four options to select from. The breakdown is as follows:

1) Marijuana should be legalized, taxed, and regulated like alcohol – 51%
2) Marijuana should be legalized but NOT taxed and regulated like alcohol – 8%
3) Marijuana should not be legalized – 26%
4) Not sure – 15%

These results show a continued upward trend in support for marijuana legalization in this country. Last year, Gallup recorded support out pacing opposition, 50% to 46%, for the first time in about four decades of polling on the question. Another survey by AngusReid had support for legalization as high as 56%. Worth noting in this recent data is that much of the country is still not comfortable with the unregulated “tomato” model of legalization and prefer regulations similar to alcohol by about 5 to 1 (52% to 8%).

The American people are quickly opening their eyes to the egregious failure that is our government’s war on cannabis. Win or lose, the three legalization initiatives on the ballot this November in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, have elevated legalization to a mainstream debate and helped the ending of prohibition become an issue discussed in homes across the country.

We the people are ready to see smart and sensible reform to our marijuana laws. We will no longer stand idly by while we waste tens of millions of tax dollars on a failed policy that terrorizes our citizens and robs us of our civil liberties. Let’s Smoke the Vote this November and send a clear message to the federal government that these are the “Final Days of Prohibition.” If this latest poll is any indication, radical change will be coming to the United States’ marijuana policy, and much sooner than later.

View more information on this poll here.

53 thoughts

  1. Most of the people I called for Colorado were positive and some said “highly supportive.” I think it will pass and so will others. But the real question will be, will the Feds allow it? With over half the country for it, and a potential billion dollar industry ready to pop up for the above ground economy and give needed support to our economic crises, why would the Federal government stand in the way? I wish we could get a straight answer. Don’t expect Obama or Romney to support any of the new legal states. I think they will try to at least stop the retail dispensaries and large grow operations from opening up. It just won’t be a crime anymore for average citizens to grow 6 plants or less, and have a couple of ounces on them. And for most marijuana people this will be paradise! Maybe we will be surprised and Holder backs down and says, “if this is what the majority of Coloradans want, who am I to stand in their way. Let’s let the legalization experiment start.”
    Marijuana legalization could spark a new Renaissance of culture trends, fashion, and of course media. In addition to feeding existing industries with money from marijuana’s above ground acceptance, legalization will also open up new markets, cures, and business that we can only imagine today. Legalization will shed light on the real medical, psychological, industrial, etc., uses for cannabis. For example, I can envision that in the future, companies will encourage their employees to use marijuana, in a controlled setting, to find new angles and ways of looking at their problems and looking for “out-of-the-box” solutions. Psychologists will recommend marijuana to their patients to help them go inside meditatively, and experience their world from a different view. Much like a doctor recommends benign, legal things like aspirin or a glass of wine today. Legalization will also allow the spiritual industry to use and accept marijuana as a spiritual tool of discovery. In the future you will see retreats where people will go to use marijuana to find the answers to life or find themselves. This is so, so, so much bigger than a few marijuana-liquor shops making money on a new product that gives tax revenues to help schools. Marijuana legalization could help put money in everybody’s pockets!

  2. This is huge. We need to do everything we can to make this a part of the media narrative over the next two weeks.

  3. Yeah right! That’s why the most liberal of states are’nt polling that high on their initiatives! I’ll believe this when I see results.

  4. @Jeedi: The Feds will probably push back against cannabis dispensaries/retail stores, but most of these ballot measures remove state penalties for marijuana possession entirely. Ergo, state and local police will not be able to do anything, even though it will still be illegal federally. So the federal government would have to spend a tremendous amount of money and resources going after individuals, which they simply do not have. So while they may attempt to shut down cannabis stores and growing operations, they will be virtually powerless against the average Colorado or Washington citizen who smokes a joint in his back yard.

  5. I hate to sound like a buzz kill, but I think Washington will be the only one that passes. On the other hand I tend to think the feds will be overwhelmed, and we’ll see a nice suprise, but colorado, I’m not to optimistic. Arkansas it too damned stupid to pass medical. Washington, and Mass. I’ll put money on. Unfortunately there has to be a clear driving provision in any successful initiative.

  6. The growing 59% of the people can make a difference.
    Liberty and Freedom is worth living.

    Vote!

  7. Well I’ll be there on election day ready to vote and do my part!! Oh, wait, I’m a convicted drug felon and don’t have the right to vote… Bastards!!

  8. I’d just like to interject that a poll of 1000 conducted by yougov and Huffington is hardly a representation of all of America.

  9. Our government must control THC levels, production, & sales otherwise we are being set up for failure. We can’t trust ourselves with crippler zombie weed. Starting out we must buy 20 marijuana ciggerette packs for $20.00 & have about 5 different varieties. Anyone caught growing will be fined for tax evasion.

  10. And yet 98% percent of those elected/reelected to Federal, State, and Local offices next week couldn’t be more unequivicable in their opposition to any leftward change in marijuana prohibition.
    Both parties, in all states, from the Office of the President to your neighborhood Justice of the Peace. The Democrats will talk about weed that’s so much stronger than so long ago when they made such a horrible, tragic mistake of smoking a joint (one time only mind you,) at a Pink Floyd Concert. The Republicans will demand a Govt big enough to stop you from growing a plant in your backyard and smoking it.

  11. I believe the Feds will have no problem with coming up with the man power. They can swear in our army to help in the bust’s .Romney has no problem with this. The money is no problem. They can divert money ear mark for other programs for to pay for it. If only (W) wins they will go after Colorado medical cannabis stores and all the rest of the stores at once. I believe if the (R) Can take all 3 house’s then you will see all this play out in a year time.

  12. People seem to finally be accepting regulated marijuana as a part of life as alcohol has been for many years. There does not seem to be any overwhelming argument to reverse this trend. The prohibitionists may try to portray legalisation in Washington as a failure (when it happens) but unless it really is a disaster people will simply think they are even more ridiculous than they already look.

    Maybe Keith Stroup will get a well deserved Nobel Prize (after all they gave Obama one just for being black !)

  13. Gweedo is 100% correct ! Change is coming
    Feds won’t be able to go after everyone.
    They will try another tactic, but the people will prevail.

  14. BW, that may be, Washington does look like the most likely. But even if just one state wins, with this 59% poll, it might only take one to be the final straw that breaks the prohibition camel’s back. It only takes one domino to start the chain reaction. That’s how alcohol prohibition ended; one state at a time.

  15. It makes no difference. Neither party will change. They both get MONEY from the weed industry: big corrections, big construction, big arms sales, etc. Even the bloated justice dept that spares no expense fighting dispensaries in CA. Everybody involved went to college somewhere and knew plenty of smokers, none of whom were harmed. They fight weed because they are paid to keep it going. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

  16. Not only do the feds not have the resources to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that approve legalization, but any attempts to do so will receive huge publicity and the blowback against the feds by the public who is now apparently 59% in favor of legalization will threaten most politicians jobs. Change will happen at the federal level will happen once pols realize that they’re in jeopardy of losing their lucrative legislative jobs because they’re moving opposite their constituents.

    I believe that in a second term, Obama will lay low on the issue of legalized marijuana in the states. The DOJ will make some noise about it after it happens and there will be some letters and harassment by the US DA’s in the states, but they can’t do much more than harassment & selective enforcement. It will leave a pall over the industry as being “quasi-legal” but will hinder neither it’s growth nor it’s spread. This is what the people want and it is a generational change that has been a long time coming.

  17. @ Robert Wroe – Are you sure? In Wisconsin felons are allowed to vote after they complete probation, your state might be different, but it’s probably worth checking out…

  18. This is great news, but support for medical is 70% to 80% and the feds are still not listening. Apparently they’re uninterested in public opinion.

  19. This is great news, but support for medical is 70% to 80% and the feds are still not listening. Apparently they’re uninterested in public opinion.

  20. Fireweed is right. I recently went out on a ride with a law enforcement friend, and unfortunately lost alittle respect for him when I discovered that they absolutely do not support legalization even on a personal level. They get brainwashed almost immediately upon entrance to their occupation, colorado aint happening folks, and Oregon will have to adopt Washingtons 502 befor it’ll ever happen.

  21. While I’m at it Montel Williams is a fake! He’s like the guy who stands up for African American equality, but if your black and don’t have a job well then it’s ok to call that person an N word. Either it’s a crime to smoke cannabis or it’s not period. Far as I’m concerned if sick folks can smoke than so should everyone, at the very least it should’nt be criminal!

  22. I just hope this silly poll does’nt wind up making us all look stupid. It’s probably more like 45% if truth be told.Hell legalization efforts don’t poll that high anywhere! How could this possibly be even close. This just sounds like a big lie to encourage voters. Hope it works!

  23. “I believe the Feds will have no problem with coming up with the man power. They can swear in our army to help in the bust’s .Romney has no problem with this. The money is no problem.”

    Douglas, I think you are right man. Very little is standing in the way for the Feds to crack down BIG. Anybody who has bought a grow light on eBay or a bag of dirt with a credit card at a hydroponics store, bought MMJ at a dispensary is on some list ready to be exploited. They have everything bugged too. Even outside you are picked up by cameras, and even your cell phone, on or off.

    I think this whole marijuana legalization movement is scaring the hell out of the feds. And they plan to strike back like a Ronald Reagan Darth Vader.

    On picking the “shiniest of two turds,” Romney would hands down be the most dangerous to marijuana. I think Romney plans on being a war president and could very likely escalate the War on Drugs like Ronald Reagan did in the 80s. Obama has proven that he will protect MMJ patients with the Ogden memo. This shows at least some compassion toward marijuana users. His DOJ might have gone after dispensaries/business, but patients have been largely allowed to cultivate and consume their own medicine. It is likely that a second term Obama administration along with Holder would send threatening letters to state officials not to implement retail sales and manufacturing. But I doubt an Obama administration would want the DEA to go after every last citizen growing a few plants. But a Romney administration would no doubt be more ruthless, and scary. I really think Romney is their man to resurrect the (drug war) hate for marijuana so that they can stop all this reform progress and marijuana sympathy. Romney will squeeze existing programs like drug forfeiture and IRS to exploit not only dispensaries, but also citizens. And how do I know this, because the federal government is not even being reasonable about reform. And the more broke government gets the more they will squeeze the people. Not the other way around. They can scare people into shutting up about marijuana like they did before and we won’t see 59% of Americans in favor. We will see far less.

  24. It is promising to see these new polls and the gaining support for this so-called “Schedule I Drug”, which we all know, including the government, is just absurd. One thing that I believe everyone is over looking is that the United States Government cannot just legalize a drug for a variety of different reason, the main being that everyone would abuse it when it was first legalized. With some states now trying to legalize it, it will slowly introduce and accept the drug without the abuse that would be seen country wide if it was federally legalized.

  25. I live in Arizona, So What! Our old red neck state gov. could care less about 59%. This is a prison state. Every where you go there is another prison. It’s a business that arizona’s politicians make plenty of under the table money from. There are towns here that use to have speed traps on the interstate now they have marijuana traps, more money in it. They should just wall up the whole state. 59% may want marijuana legal, again so what.

  26. Hey Fellow Tetrahydrocannabinol Partakers,

    A few humans here say you can’t vote if you are a Felon..Wrong,President Obama signed a bille that says Felon’s can vote if and when they complete their Parole..I registered to vote and I will vote on 11/06/2012…I completed my Parole and can do this again and Guess who I will vote for…Keep pushing for this,it will be worth it in the end..What we really need to push for is Hemp to be Legal..Hemp the Male is where all the products lye..Clothes,Cars,Houses,Food and over 50,000 more Products…The Medicine is real close,but the Hemp is going to be a battle…Ask Dupont etc…

    G.A.P.

  27. hemp products should be a multi billion$ doller op in the future hopfully but the gas companys dont want that afordable hemp fueal heating up homes and filling gas tanks and like this guy said 50000+ hemp products we could be making right now anybodys dead wrong if say legalizing wont create jobs

  28. I have a Republican brother that I talked to when I was visiting My mom in Ark and he told me he was for Medical Pot also my mom and other brother and his wife all say they support it. When I fond out about my Republican brothers views I figured there may be hope yet for Arkansas.

  29. We are truly about to witness history. Legalization of this plant will change everything, and the ignorant and stupid will be proven wrong (and thank God they only make up a small portion of the population). There are people in the pharmaceutical business that are squirming in their shoes right now. And if they aren’t, they will be. You WILL see sales drop. There WILL be thousands of people discovering, for the first time, the vast benefits of this truly amazing and wonderful plant. People will notice the smooth and painless transition and the DROP in crime rate. The drop in alcohol related accidents. The drop in stress related diseases. The drop in cancer incidents. Sure some of these won’t be noticed right away but they will be nonetheless. This plant will change the world if mankind allows it. It will help mankind in ways we probably can’t even imagine yet. This is gonna be epic.

  30. My fiance and I live in Illinois, and we are keeping our fingers crossed regarding the medical marijuana law proposed here. The last vote was only three votes short. Having said that, after the election, my guess is that the votes are there after the election.

    Additionally, we are optimistic (my fiance more than me) regarding the ballot measures in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. As he lived out in the Pacific Northwest for years, He thinks Washington is likely, and Oregon is a toss-up. He told me Oregon is not so sure because of the person behind the measure there. Regarding Colorado, he thinks that will likely be enacted as well.

    Finally, regarding elgilibility to vote in Illinois as a ex-felon: You can vote, and everyone should do so, as we are so close to what most have yearned for many years: Meaningful drug reform, regardless of what those jackbooted thugs known as the federal government says. The voters have more power now than ever before. The only limitation is for someone in custody. Immediately upon release from prison your right to vote is restored. Illinois has a voter law like Oregon’s which is as felon-friendly as it gets.

  31. NORML should work on getting a “national ballot” signed into law so we could all vote on it if they’re not already. Earth is the crappiest at getting good things done so I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes another 50 years. All the morons voting. Do I have this right? Romney is tied with Obama in polls? Idiots! The only people who would benefit from voting shit romney are the wealthy 1%!! Anyone else is a moron to vote for him. Or they’re just evil and want things bad. Or what? They’re racist which is evil. This is why I think we’re going to have to attack the DEA or government that’s a robot in it’s ways. POT IS GOOD FOR YOU AND ME!!! It’s not heroin. It’s not heroin. Pot is also not PCP or crystal meth… lets see. It’s safer for you than tobacco, alcohol and Tylenol. In fact, it’s the safest drug there is. Safer than binge eating. It’s safer than driving a car. And it has a really good “high” to it. Is there anything wrong with it? I’m playing devils advocate and saying there might be. Maybe just the fact that we can’t spend our whole lives high and taking drugs might be considered wrong because it’s selfish? Oh gee, I’d rather be selfish and feel good than feel bad. And if all drugs are bad why is there a multi-billion dollar industry thats legal: Phyzer, Lockhardt etc. I guess those people are wrong to feel good off those drugs or something. What? Does pot lead to bad spiritual stuff? ANYTHING could. I guess there were no bad people before pot was made illegal. Adolf Hitler/cough. Like what happened with manson? If ANYTHING bad starts happening from doing ANY drug you need to sit out a few turns until it’s better. It’s up to you and God is best “drug”, although it takes some work to achieve those highs like love and happiness. But for me Pot AND God is best. We need to keep this going. It IS possible we could win sooner than 2050. I just wonder how much resistance will try and block our way. I’m just out of stuff and feel like there’s no way a feel good campaign would work when they’d bulldoze us over with negativity and no remorse for us. We need to do something more. But I think it’ll pass in Washington. We need to have courage and speak up about this WAY more.I mean Jesus had to be nailed to a cross for what he believed and it changed everything. I hope it doesn’t take that.

    [Editor’s note: FYI — There is no such thing as a ‘national ballot’…the only national vote to be held under the Constitution is to choose a president.]

  32. T says:
    October 25, 2012 at 12:53 am

    I’d just like to interject that a poll of 1000 conducted by yougov and Huffington is hardly a representation of all of America.

    If you’d ever taken a statistics class, you’d understand why you’re wrong.

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