Poll: Solid Majority Of Voters Back Legalizing Cannabis

Nearly six out of ten Americans support legalizing cannabis, according to a just released Public Policy Polling automated telephone survey of 1,325 voters, commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.

58 percent of respondents said that marijuana ‘should be legal.’ Only 34 percent of respondents opposed the notion of legalizing cannabis. A solid plurality of voters (47 percent of respondents versus 33 percent) also said that the federal government should not interfere with newly passed marijuana legalization measures in Colorado and Washington.

Male respondents endorsed legalization by a greater margin than women. 62 percent of men backed legalization; 54 percent of female respondents endorsed legalizing marijuana.

A majority of self-identified Democrats and Independents backed legalization (68 percent and 59 percent respectively), while a majority of Republicans failed to do so (42 percent).

Respondents were nearly equally divided on the question of whether they believed cannabis to be safer than alcohol. Forty-five percent of respondents agreed with the premise, while 42 percent disagreed.

The survey results are similar to those reported last week by Angus Reid that found that 54 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. Sixty-six percent of those polled by Angus Reid said that they anticipate that cannabis will be legalized within the next ten years.

An October 2012 poll by YouGov and the Huffington Post reported that 59 percent of Americans favor legalization. By contrast, separate polls in recent weeks by CBS News and The Washington Post/ABC News have indicated weaker support for legalization, particularly among older voters.

Nonetheless, the overall polling data indicates that a greater percentage of Americans today back legalizing marijuana than at any prior time in modern history.

48 thoughts

  1. Peyote is legal for some Americans and the government stays out of that and nothing bad is happening from it. We just want Pot legal. It would make this country then all countries better! It literally has dozens of good uses and no bad effects like some medication (seek immediate medical attention for an erection lasting more than 4 hours). People who know what Marijuana is like all know that it’s ridiculous to have it illegal. There are so many good uses it has.

  2. 42 percent disagreed with the premise of believing cannabis to be safer than alcohol.

    it’s a shame that we have to care what they believe. it’s a shame that they even choose to “believe” in an answer instead of simply finding the answer. if i ask you what 23409×13784 equals, would you believe the number to be _____? no, b/c you can simply calculate to find out the nonnegotiable answer. one doesn’t believe that 2×2=4, one knows* b/c it’s a question which can be answered with either a yes or a no with no room for compromise.

    the question of whether cannabis is safer than alcohol is similar to the question of what 2×2 equals, b/c there is an answer which can be discovered by performing the necessary calculations (or research, in matter of the cannabis/alcohol question)

    ah, i shouldn’t be so pessimistic. in time, the world will review these reports with amusement and fascination, the same way we study old maps which place the Earth as the center of the solar system, let alone the universe.

  3. Great news, sadly some of the older voters suffer from the misinformation and demonizing of Cannabis. Let us keep the momentum and write our reps to ensure they support bills like HB 6606 to ensure the states do not get messed with.
    I am still thrilled at the victory of Washington, Colorado!

  4. I hate parts like this:
    “Respondents were nearly equally divided on the question of whether they believed cannabis to be safer than alcohol. Forty-five percent of respondents agreed with the premise, while 42 percent disagreed.”

    What do random people off the street know? Meaning, there are many studies that show that Marijuana is, in fact, much safer than alcohol; however, random people on the street probably don’t know that.

  5. What will the American NAZI Police State and the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex Poison sellers do now!! O the Humanity

  6. with the polls showing this much support how much longer do we have to wait on the feds to repeal this stupid law prohibiting cannibus iam not a criminal and shouldnt be subject to drug testing or jail ,just because i would rather smoke than drink, people band togather end end the war on cannibus

  7. I’m so happy that I could literally cry.
    I remember as a teenager being persecuted for using this. People digging through my personal effects and putting me through counseling. Now it seems the tide has turned in my favor. The people have spoken. It is time to legalize marijuana. We have a solid majority of support in this nation. I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Hopefully it can be fully legalized and ew can get back to our lives without fear of persecution. We should be able to grow it like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson did. If our founders could have it, why can’t we?

  8. These figures are still low enough for Obama to ignore it and some states have more opposition than others despite the national averages. There are no signs of things going backwards yet. I think there is enough doubt and difference of opinion to justify the passing of Congressional House bill 6606 ( http://blog.norml.org/2012/11/30/congressional-lawmakers-introduce-legislation-to-halt-federal-interference-in-state-marijuana-laws/ ). It allows the politicians to look like they have not backed the idea of legalisation until it is actually done and then they can say that it was they who allowed people to choose. It’s a strange mechanism but that’s the way politics works. It may be less than ideal but many countries don’t have any kind of politics that allows change led by the people unless you have a civil war or something.

  9. “”A majority of self-identified Democrats and Independents backed legalization (68 percent and 59 percent respectively), while a majority of Republicans failed to do so (42 percent).””

    The reason Republicans don’t support legalization is it isn’t their kids being jailed for marijuana,,daddy just bails them out if they happen to get causgt,,they are who the drug courts are in place for,,so the well off can go to rehab abd the poor can continue to fill our prisons.

  10. We have the internet to thank for a lot of today’s findings. Never before have we had access to information on this subject like we do now. The NORML website itself is a perfect example of what we have now vs the message the Feds sent us prior to the internet age. The truth is spreading and the Feds are looking ever more “alcoholic” (for lack of a better word for their behavior at the moment).

    I’m almost 60 and want to ask the young people not to hate the old people for their opinions regarding marijuana. Most of the people over 65 got their info from the Govt and we all know what they’ve had to say. Besides, some of those folks over 65 fought for our country in various wars (WW2 for example) and we should be grateful for that even if we don’t share their jaded opinions about marijuana use.

  11. Michael F, You are absolutely right! But this also tells us something else. We have to get the word out more to these random people on the streets. They are all potential voters that could be led in the right direction and make the right vote when the time comes. Those random people on the streets are a loooot of people.

  12. thanks yall for the support gods knows we need it im so glad ther are millions just like me with the same views will shall win our fight inn time there may be people in our way but they will join us in our fight just rember a though is a freq we release to others so just keep thinking we are still in the dark here in indiana soon there will be light thanks people stay posative from knox IN

  13. Will Jenkins says:
    December 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    What will the American NAZI Police State and the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex Poison sellers do now!! O the Humanity

    While I do think it’s past the point of we-were-just-following-orders, just doing our jobs, the incendiary language helps just as much as a flag burning.

    There is a role for big pharma helping to exploit the benefits of the noble weed, standing in the way of full legalization on a par with alcohol is not part of this role.

  14. Hey Miles I am in my 50s and I guess we may be the new middle age, but my point was not aimed at hating the older folks, in fact both my mom and dad were on board with legalization, they have passed on but it was nice of them to say it to me. I have since then always spoken about this to any older person I meet or know and I am surprised by how much they do not know, it helps to speak out. Mostly I get positive comments on medical.

  15. Since 50% of americans believe the earth was created in 7 days. And that event occurred 8000years ago. If American would have let science be part of this discussion, this case would have been closed 70 years ago. Our govt does not believe in science except when weapons or other implements of destructive are thought to be needed.

  16. @claygooding

    Don’t forget the part where a criminal record keeps people under employed or unemployed, swelling the public welfare state that Republicans claim to hate.

  17. I believe very strongly that if someone developed a test that indicated whether or not someone was intoxicated at that moment, at the time the test was taken, and to what degree, that would go along way towards the legalization of marijuana. I don’t want my doctor, my airline pilot, etc to be stoned while working, but if they smoked a joint a week ago who cares. I know there is someone out there smart enough to do that, and they would make a bunch of money.

  18. I saw a bumper sticker with which I believe, it said, “When the Government fears the people, it’s called Democracy. When the people fear the Government, it’s called Autocracy.” “We the people” must continue the fight.

    dax, your problem seems to be a common disease called octalrectalitis. The nerve endings of your eyes have been crossed with the nerve endings in your butt. You have a crappy outlook on life.

  19. Miles, I to am over fifty. I don’t hate older people for not understanding the issue of proibition, and I respect all who have served. What I hate is that we have been lied to; all of us. From Vitnam,to Marijuana.Our goverment has lied for nothing more than to line there pockets with money. I even envey the ignorant sometimes.

  20. @Swedesrule66 – Your diagnosis about dax’s problem is spot on! Brilliant 🙂

    Young people like dax need to realize that age really has nothing to do with whether or not they are likely to be for or against marijuana legalization (or any other subject for that matter). Many of the worst prohibitionists on the planet are relatively young; Kevin Sabet and Alexandra Datig for example.

    So dax – wise up!

  21. At 14 I experienced marijuana for the first time. It was a wonderful experience to say the least. I’m now 47 and would love the freedom to smoke without being placed in the catagory of a criminal. My parents raised me very well and I hold a well respected job. On and off in my 47 years I smoked marijuana and seen no harm in it. I do not sit in a corner like a vegitable. I can read, write, and communicate well with others. Isn’t it funny that people (like myself) who have experienced marijuana (for such an amount of time) realize that there is more harm in what has been said about it, than smoking it. I no longer smoke marijuana because (1.) work related reasons. It’s known as random drug testing. (2.)When I became of age I realize the punishment I could recieve for my choice to smoke and how it could put me in a very bad position.
    I believe we will soon see the day when responsible adults will be able to smoke marijuana again without being catagorized as criminals. Although I am from the older generation I see fit to say, Legalize marijuana for recreational use. I have never been against smoking marijuana. To look at me you would think to yourself, that guy would never smoke marijuana. Well let me inform you there are many of us out here that fit this description that have held back for many years in fear of what we may lose. WELL ITS TIME TO STAND AND SAY WE WANT OUR RIGHTS BACK. Marijuana never made me do things out of character nor did I become lazy or disconnected. Although I was not an every day smoker, from time to time I would have a smoke. The only thing I did not enjoy about it was the fact that I knew I was breaking the law. I didn’t want to see myself as a law breaker and I uphold the law to the best of my ability. I drive the speed limit. I don’t drink and drive. I have never been in jail and could never imagin going their. I could not understand that if I wanted to drink myself silly I could as long as i did it responsibly. So what is so different about marijuana besides the fact that the government has made it illegal? Personally I do not like the taste of beer or liquor (although I have no problem with those who do) and would prefer to have my choice. I THINK ITS TIME TO LIGALIZE IT (NOT ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES) AROUND THE WORLD.

  22. If it were not for the United States’ constant lies and flow of bribe money about marijuana into other countries, they would never have bothered with laws about it in the first place.

  23. Miles, just talked with Alexandra Datig for a little while. Most of the internet photos of her are twenty years old, BTW, so she’s no spring chicken. Now, Alexandra is a lot more intelligent than many of her Prohibitionist writings she has posted on several websites. In fact, we spent most of the conversation talking about how “the system” just basically screws people over instead of helping them. Like many places only have AA as a “drug treatment option”, and AA only has a success rate of 5%. So the system is designed to take your money, put you in jail or force you to “elect” a dysfunctional treatment program. “It many time serves to break up families, and when you’re in recovery how does that help?”

    So I said to her, “if this is how the system is failing, then stop wasting time going after marijuana and focus on these very real issues. I feel the main point for marijuana is now separating it from the black market and dangerous drugs. And it should have separate laws as it is completely different from dangerous drugs.”

    Also, Alexandra mentioned she is, “really tired of debating people that want to feed their kids marijuana. They’re just crazy.” Okay, I think this issue is important, but complicated. Some kids might benefit a lot from using marijuana in certain ways. All this stuff needs to be explored in non-harmful ways which cannot be done thanks to the stupid laws we currently have.

    I can see why if a doctor has the right proscribe deadly drugs; a parent might feel that should have the right to give their child something as harmless as marijuana. Perhaps they should. However, if your child has some issue, you need to be working with a specialist doctor and only do what they say. We’ll need more time to evaluate how safe marijuana is for younger people with certain issues and there is no reason to experiment on them. For example, I’d be more inclined to see a pill or food item, not some smokable or other non-inhalable form for medical uses especially in the case of younger patients.

    Anyway this lady, Alexandra Datig, is cool people. She is focused more on a Personal Prohibition, since the way she thinks about marijuana is dysfunctional and she is warning people not to use it to escape from, or ignore, a bad place in reality. Instead, take that money, time and effort toward fixing those issues. Of course, she is right, so I hope my advice hasn’t falling on deaf ears as that is what legalizing marijuana means to us.

  24. i don’t know to much on the polls and percentages shit, all i know is that anyone who thinks pot is worst than drinking are just closed minded people that are not in touch with the commen since part of there brain……..doew that make any since?

  25. hello there =)smiles………
    you have hit the nail on the head, so to speak. it should be my choice to have a smoke or a beer. its my body. stay out of my body uncle sam………..

  26. I’m 48 yrs. old and I thought I would never see the day that MJ would be legalize in any state because of the generation age in charge of our Gov.

    I live in GA and we just sold our house, we are moving to Colorado Jan. 31. My girlfriend is there now locating a place to live. One thing she did say, many property owners have stated in their rental contract, no MJ period on the property!
    Hmmm… another obstacle but, it is one I can overcome. How? Not move into that rental and give money to that “landlord” for denying me MY RIGHTS!! That rental will sit for a long time with no income!

    Congrats to NORML for ALL the hard work and dedication they have done to help legalize MJ!!

  27. Beware of the government try and stay responsible about what your doing and wtvr you do use you herb as a remedy and be responsible about your consumption in terms of working please. Always practise safety and happy holidays everyone. I believe in you. Always have your id ready for purchase.happy new years! Now imagine what a dui does to your life….

  28. Yes, indeed. That terrible law, the controlled substances act does cover all materials. Tobacco and Alcohol are schedule one substances. Where is the “worry” about their proliferation. Prohibitionists say really dumb things like will Alcohol is bad for you, why should we legalization marijuana? According the law, since marijuana isn’t dangerous, it isn’t covered by the Controlled Substances Act and it is illegal to place in Schedule One. Tobacco and Alcohol and Schedule One Materials, end of story. Everyone that has sold or otherwise distributed these materials is a felon according to this retarded law that they don’t even bother enforcing correctly and if they did, would immediately result in more crime than we’ve ever seen. It is a terrible law that is only half enforced; imagine the damage it would do it was actually followed to the letter? We’d have four times as many people in jail than we currently do and we’d all constantly be going to funerals.

  29. Legal or not people are going to smoke pot. Period. Politicians need to wake up and all the closed minded alcoholics better sober up.
    I for one am moving to Colorado after I retire and am bringing my 401 and pension along with my wifes.If the states where smart they would follow suit.

Leave a Reply