CNN/ORC Poll: Majority Of Americans Want Marijuana Legalization

Fifty-five percent of Americans favor making cannabis legal for adults, according to the findings of a CNN/ORC International survey released late Monday. The percentage is the highest ever reported by the survey, which has been tracking public opinion on the issue since 1973, and marks a 12 percentage point jump in support since the last time pollsters posed the question in 2012.

In addition, only 35 percent of those polled responded that consuming cannabis was “morally wrong” — down from 70 percent in 1987, the last time pollsters posed the question.

The CNN/ORC polled surveyed 1,010 Americans and possesses a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

The survey’s findings are similar to those of a fall 2013 Gallup poll which reported nationwide support for legalizing marijuana at 58 percent, the highest level of support ever recorded in a national scientific poll.

47 thoughts

  1. One prohibition should remain: the prohibition of corporations to grow/harvest/cultivate any cannabis plant. Corporations are the ones who started this whole mess. Let the people grow cannabis.

  2. If this is a free country then why aren’t our elected representatives listening to us? I want to cry! Like this: :`(

  3. It’s time to legalize on the East Coast. That means the feds have to stay out of the way. NYC has got to go at least cannabis neutral, not enforcing any non-nuisance cannabis laws. Irresponsible use (according to how the cannabis community frames the definition)is still punishable. Cannabis clubs and retail sales on the overflow proceeds are simply let alone by LEOs and other harassing government entities of any kind.

    A majority of Americans now want legalization, looks to me like there’s about 3 generations who’ve been exposed to positive things about recreational cannabis use, as opposed to abuse or irresponsible cannabis use such as that David Brooks wrote about. (His syndicated column contribution to cannabis prohibition just made it into the editorial pages of the small city market circulation of rural Pennsylvania.) Brooks wrote about effing up an English class presentation because he got wasted on weed beforehand. Dumbass, it’s be the same as if you stole some of your parents’ vodka, watered it down and got wasted with that before your spotlight appearance. Then, another thing about one of their friends being high all the time. If this friend was awake they were getting and staying high obsessively and compulsively long-term. All of his concerns have been addressed so Brooks you’re essay is moot. Lots of famous people who used and still use cannabis are examples of success. Even the parents who’ve admitted they used to their kids and quit because they didn’t like it can be viewed by their kids as everyman successes, not losers, gainful incomes, responsible parents and people.

    Where are all the good jobs? There’s a lot of resistance to raising the minimum wage to try to turn McJobs into living wage jobs. You prohibitionists don’t have a freakin’ plan to make jobs or you’d be implementing it.

    You need to het the hell out of the way of legalization.

    Just let the industry come above ground.

    You want to orchestrate this very carefully in your Arbeitspolitik. In states like Colorado and soon Washington you want to make sure to avoid too many jobs be lost in the state because they move to the neighboring states that have decided to legalize. Other states need the money too, just haven’t come around that corner yet.

    You may compare the scenario I mean with all the cannabis tourists coming to the Maastricht area in the Netherlands where you have simultaneously a multi-sided crackdown on cannabis. The Dutch in Limburg Province have and are not allowing coffeeshop sales to nonresidents whilst the grows have moved to neighboring countries as has been reported in Belgium and Germany. Germany reports police profiling people possibly returning from farther in the country where the weedpass is not in effect.

    So you could have Colorado selling to nonresidents and despite crackdowns by authorities in neighboring states those states legalizing as well. Then things move to the neighboring states where the cannabis consumers are. They’re not going to drive to Colorado anymore. You want to minimize the unemployment caused by the expansion of the industry into yet another state, more and more states.

    The situation between Canada–British Columbia–and Washington is different because there are checkpoints at the border. Over in the Netherlands and that area the border checkpoints have been eliminated by the Schengen Agreement. It’d be nice to have something like that with Canada and Mexico, solidify the checkpoints at the border with Latin America, if that were workable in a utopian way with lots of win-wins and short on drawbacks, I mean, you got to get some of their great tropical sativas in the shops.

    You got instant jobs and tax revenues internationally all over the world, along with the NGOs and business networks to gather intelligence. You want to follow the money and make sure it doesn’t end up in the hands of our enemies. The U.S. has to control this game. Cannabis needs to be traded internationally in US dollars.

  4. Of course with the “legalization” of cannabis, the Police will be reducing their staffs since “crime” will drop…no wait.

  5. I think heads will only roll after weed is legal. Our democratically elected leaders are just going to wait it out (see Custer’s Last Stand).

  6. @Davidcorner, don’t cry, but understand that this isn’t as “free” a country as it once was and it’s not democratic one either. It’s a republic. Which is elected officials making our decisions for us in a democratic fashion. So it becomes very important for activism to put pressure on them so they understand that when they need our vote….they better listen to our view. So turn that frown up-side-down and find out who you can vote for that supports Cannabis.:)))

  7. I’m going to use cannabis no matter what the laws are. So is everyone else. So government, you can have my money by legalizing it or i’ll keep giving it to my buddy tax free!

  8. I Think the time has come for each state to have the legalisation question debated/voted on. There is enough public opinion to justify asking the electorate at state level what their views are. Some would go for it – some may not but it is certainly time to ask the question. The challenge is to those who support prohibition to have the courage to ask the question. The tables have turned now.

  9. After checking out @Robert’s guide, please familiarize yourself with how to make a long-drawtube one-hitter at, “12 Ways to Make Pipes from Everyday Objects”.

    @Oracle, thanks for bringing up issue of jobs in Colorado after adjoining states legalize. There is a work-needed emergency facing all western US states, Australia and many other countries: drought-induced overabundance of deadwood and flammable litter lying everywhere ready to cause billion dollar fires. Clipping, gathering, sorting, trimming downed tree cellulose is arguable the most interesting job on the planet, and there is a way to combine it with REFORESTATION to control CO2 and prevent climate harm.

    1. Form international Deadwood Abatement Brigade (DAB)– hands-on JOBS for refugee families, immigrants, ex-offenders, students, interns, forestry experts, etc.– clip, pick, trim workable wood into logs, poles, ship to town for carpentry and manufactured products displacing killed-tree lumber from market, preventing deforestation.

    2. “Hemigration”– workers spend continual summer in northern and southern hemispheres alternately.

    3. Gather loose dry litter, sawdust, chips, shreds, bundled brush, and haul to dry gulch, gorge, stream-bed, ravine (“Gullywood”).

    4. Lay dust, chips lowest, bundles on top, forming an elongated bio-mass mound to retard stormwater runoff (“Bushwater”).

    5. Seed densely with HEMP; billions of long roots will grip bio-mass, prevent erosion; in a year or two rich litter topsoil builds up.

    6. Seed with fast-growing ailanthus, eucalyptus, cottonwood, willow etc. depending on your climate (“Droughtproofing stage”).

    7. After a decade, seed with glorious pines, hardwoods you want your children to live among (Maximum Woodland).

  10. I can’t imagine why anyone would believe marijuana is ‘morally wrong’. You could make a case for alcohol consumption being be morally wrong based on all the dumb-ass drunken behavior I’ve seen on episodes of ‘Cops’ I’ve seen. You could make a case for nicotine being morally wrong. It’s an addictive carcinogen that sickens the user and adds nothing to the quality of life.

  11. If we had elected a president Romney, he’d be fighting this ‘tooth and nail’ as he had promised.

  12. @Stanleyj @DavidCorner
    Some of the reasons our elected elite don’t always listen to us is some of them have more power than us and they know it. Americans aren’t equal when it comes to the referendum and initiative processes. Early on Direct Democracy in its many butchered forms was a work in progress from state to state moving from east to west mostly. As the country grew so did the forms of Direct Democracy. To illustrate this just do an image search on a map of initiative and referendum types in the US. Then do a image search on a map of legal and medicinal marijuana. You will see the two maps have very much in common. While polls show the majority of american want marijuana legalized the enacted laws paint the true picture of where the peoples power resides.
    Legalization is about to make some progress on a different front.

    Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear Whether Citizens Have a Fundamental Right Under the US Constitution to Use Cannabis for Medical Purposes

    The western states with medical marijuana is blanketed by the 9th district. A ruling on this in our favor of having a “Fundamental Right” to use medical marijuana could carry more power than any federal law. This hearing takes place in less than a week. As of the 6th of this month, these hearing can be listen to live! Ring side seats anyone?

  13. I think the numbers to legalize are very repressed. I am a very hard working political activist for NORML. I talk to people everyday about legalizing Cannabis. I have been doing this for a long time. I have found, some people won’t talk to me, because they are afraid to. So they may have lower numbers favoring legalization. Some of the people don’t trust the government, and have said they won’t even send a letter out because they are paranoid, that I might be working for the police. Has anyone else experienced this kind of reaction when trying to get people to send in NORML’s ready-made letters.

  14. @grandma3d

    I once received a response from a congressman in to a letter favoring medical marijuana. He cited irreproducible studies from 30 years ago. That congressman is a PHYSICIAN. I dearly wanted to write a letter to the editor exposing this head-in-the-sand nonsense, but I feared retaliation from such a powerful individual.

  15. @ Grandma 3d; married to the mob. People are repressed, and afraid. I have found that if you make the mistake of being overheard speaking up for marijuana legalization by a family member of law enforcement can cause a person lots of trouble. Such people are often financially well off, and socially well connected, mean spirited, and full of dirty tricks. The wife, or family member of a policeman can give a whole new meaning to the abuse, and misuse of power by those in power.

  16. @Voice of resistance
    Most of the people I talk to are poor, blacks and hispanics. I make it a point to try and talk to the poor people. I get on the local bus,go right to the back of the bus and announce, “Does anyone on this bus want to help legalize marijuana.” Then I give them one of my NORML customized business cards (it does not have my name or phone number on it) and ask them to get on NORML’s site and send out letters. I usually get a good response,once they start listening to me. The poor are the ones that are getting the worse treatment by the police and prosecutors. The Police don’t go into rich neighborhoods looking for users and dealers. They go after the poor, because they don’t have the money to hire a good lawyer. Most of the time they have a public defender. Therefore,they are easy to arrest and prosecute. Additionally, police and prosecutors try to keep the poor defendants,in the revolving door of the justice system. That is why recidivism is so prevalent in our justice system.

  17. Another true life Pot story:

    A friend (since passed) had a beautiful outdoor crop. It was just about harvest time and he showed them off to me.

    On one smaller plant there was the whole compliment of hornets (15 to 20) sitting on the plant. I reached down and stroked the wings on a couple. They didn’t move.

    Pot can put an end to the Killer Bees antics. Just move a mature plant near the hive. Presto Not-so-Killer anymore. Guaranteed.

    The percentage of people that want pot legal is far higher than 55% most people asked to sign the petition in BC last year were afraid even those that toked. Add another 20%

  18. @grandma3d – I’ve known a lot of cannabis users, all good hard-working people, but they are all afraid to do anything for the legalization effort. Their fears are well justified! If their employer found out about their usage they’d get fired and have a real hard time getting another job in their career field. Parents fear that their kids may be taken away from them. The fear is that there is a secret list of everyone supporting the end of prohibition. Being on this list puts everything you have in your life in danger. You can get put on this list many different ways; joining NORML or other cannabis related organization (or making a donation), writing to elected officials about legalization, making comments on seemingly anonymous blogs like this one…

    Is this paranoia or is there really such a list? I choose to risk my life and freedom to do what I believe is right. As an ex-marine I choose not to cower in a closet on this issue but I completely understand the fear that so many feel. We don’t trust the Govt or law enforcement to do the right thing. The fact is that we see them doing the wrong things more often than not.

    So, bottom line, it is up to those of us brave enough to risk the consequences of being targeted by our enemies or those that have nothing to loose. It really is very depressing that this is what has become of America. I now find myself wondering if this country is still worth fighting for since doinf so means supporting the will of those who have so cruel to so many of us.

  19. @Miles
    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

  20. Part of it is just realizing we have nothing to fear from these lying pieces of shit. We, as marijuana consumers, need to stop acting like we are the commiting crimes. It is the police in nearly every state that cannot follow the law. The police should be the ones worrying about losing their jobs for not handling marijuana and marijuana cases in a way that respects the consitution!!! Requiring innocents to under go this constant harrassment with the threat of arrest simply for owning or using a nontoxic plant is an abuse of authority.

  21. @Miles: It’s because one of the lynchpins of the Drug War and its many profiteers has been to use witch-hunt tactics, spinning the public conversation and perception of the issue so that any of your opponents who speaks out can and will be automatically assumed to be a “witch” him/herself and therefore undeserving of employment, housing, or even life. It’s a tactic that worked well (for a time) for the actual witch-hunters of old, and it’s a tactic that worked well (for a time) for the Communist witch-hunters of the Red Scare era. It’s even a tactic that worked well for eons to silence atheists and keep them from finding other like-minded people, and the internet seems to be one of the best tools to counter such witch-hunter tactics as it allows the opponents of the witch-hunters to meet and interact and express themselves freely without fear of retaliation from, say, police, neighbors or employers. Without the internet, I seriously doubt the legalization movement could have grown fast or made so much progress by now, or that we’d ever have any discussions on drug testing. Which is why some employers want to monitor what you do online as a condition of employment, and why some powerful people want to turn it into TV 2.0.

    I am not a user, but I have encountered that when I speak out about drug testing. There have been people who give me that “you’re a filthy addict” look, regardless of the various valid reasons I give to oppose drug testing, and you know that once they found out I oppose the practice they pre-convicted me as an addict trying to protect my habit and tuned out anything else I had to say.

    I gave one girl at work my list of links, and she kept saying “well, I don’t need that because I don’t use drugs, I don’t use drugs, I don’t use drugs”, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t too. I wrote to her on Facebook later and explained that I don’t use drugs either, that those links have nothing to do with methods for “tricking” a drug test, and that there are robust reasons that non-users like ourselves need to fear and oppose drug testing. Her response was that she knows I don’t use drugs, but as a student she is afraid to say anything and feels she has to put on a front like that in public.

    Of course, I’ve also opened up like that to about three other people, and they all seemed open to hear the truth about drug testing and were very happy to get my list of links. It’s clear that none of them read the company’s new “no cause drug testing” policy, as one of them was really mad when I told her it claimed that drug testing was “100% accurate”. They have a lot of gall making claims like that, and if this was a perfect world, they wouldn’t just go out of business when MJ gets legalized, they’d be investigated and charged with fraud.

  22. @grandma3d…my employer warned us six months before beginning hair testing.under five years of service and dirty….fired. over five years …30 days off and rehab! then tested random all they want until your clean. ok, that was reasonable under the circumstances. i consumed right up to the day they began testing in an effort to make it known that many consume and that it wasnt right! i have been there 36 yrs. have consumed all the years i have worked there. i still write letters to h.r. about updates and prod them about change concerning the violation of employees personal rights. i write them in a kind and professional manner and i know where my boundries are. i am pinning updated material on the buliten board on a regular basis which now stays up for quite a while now before being removed. it can be done. i realize that i do work for a reasonable group of people for not just firing the lot of us. i am one who generally will stand back in the crowd to remain silent. but when they started telling me what im goin to do in the privacy of my own home …it caused me to step out about it.if it were crack or heroin would have been one thing but cannabis? best stuff in the world for peace and happiness and wellbeing! hope this may help someone to ‘step out’ some about is not wrong to consume…proven safer than alcohol!! have a great day and thank you and all like you to speak out about cannabis!

  23. A news story on channel 8 in southeast Idaho that ran two days ago featured the former governor of Montana who gave a very positive spin on the idea of legalizing marijuana. I’ve been waiting all my life for this, and by golly I think the dream of legalization, and the end of the long nightmare is finally coming to an end. Grandma d, and everyone else who is making this happen thanks so much for standing up.

  24. “Her response was that she knows I don’t use drugs, but as a student she is afraid to say anything and feels she has to put on a front like that in public.”

    And thus another fool of a tool is made.

  25. Prohibition is a joke. People are smoking in every city and state in the US. The war on drugs has FAILED.

  26. Prohibition is a joke. People are smoking marijuana in every state and every city in the US. The war on drugs has FAILED. The people of this free country won’t stand to have their own elected representatives not listen to them anymore. Times are changing. Much pro marijuana progress will be seen in 2014. A new generation of is coming.

  27. @Anonymous: “if it were crack or heroin would have been one thing but cannabis?”

    Even if it’s crack or heroin, there is no call to be violating the rights of all employees to find them, effectively criminalizing everyone in order to eliminate the supposed protection of civil rights behind which the “bad guys” allegedly hide.

    Plus, drug testing does nothing to stop people from using drugs. That was known from day one, but ignored in the frenzy of drug-boogeyman fear going around the country. And later, we all came to assume it was good and should be mandatory across the board because it had been used for so long that surely it must have proven to be good. You know what they say about assuming things, right?

    Not to mention the fact that drug testing is pretty useless to find crack or heroin, and drug testing programs actually increase the hard drug use. When marijuana is legalized, that fraud industry loses 98% of it’s illusory efficacy. And good riddance, I say.

    @Dave Evans: That is very true. Sad, but true. It’s not only drug users who have to be afraid of the Drug Warriors, but only the drug users are acknowledging that fear. Many of us non-users are in denial about our very real fear and why, precisely, we are so afraid of our purported protectors.

  28. @Demon, as you have pointed out, you’re in a category of non-users intimidated by Drug Warriors; there’s another category of cannabis users (including me) who know better than admit to being “drug users”!

    With a vaporizer or vape-tokes on a one-hitter one can escape the real “drugs” carbon monoxide, heat shock, combustion toxins etc. which cause (and maintain) #1 mental illness, Depression.

  29. @Anonymous
    Thank you for stepping out, that was very brave of you. I am sorry your employer is so hard on you and your co-workers. They sound very narrow-minded,and ignorant to the truth. I had all kinds of trouble when I was working for the State, because I would not keep my mouth shut, to all the injustice I witnessed. I spoke the truth, but they weren’t interested in the truth, or justice. They just wanted me to shut up. But I wouldn’t. They said I was a loose cannon, what ever that means. So you see I was being groomed all my life to be a political activist, and I am a damn good one. Thats the way my daddy raised me. I am happy to stand up for you and all Cannabis users.
    I am a grandma as you probably know. I grew up in a time when the United States was still a free country. Now I am ready to leave this country, because of the changes I have seen first hand. Maybe I will go to Uruguay. They sound like a progressive country to me. LOL
    But the only way I will leave is if I can take my daughter and granddaughters with me. Before the shit hits the fan in this country, which is coming real soon. When it does, we won’t be able to leave!

  30. Next time a employer wants a drug test should I call the police? After its their job to enforce the laws.

  31. Where Was I when they voted?!

    I’m for complete marijuana legalization. Add me into that Percentage!~


  32. I don’t understand the fascination with Marijuana. I don’t think it should be outlawed any more than grapes to make wine should be outlawed. The government’s hand is way to heavy in regulating a plant that grows naturally. If the government wants to outlaw a plant, outlaw poison ivey, that wou. I still don’t understand the fascination.

  33. The fascination is with the things you find you can think and/or do after a toke. If you haven’t tried it before, the first thing to do after the first toke is go for a walk in the woods (armed with anvil pruner and handsaw) and see everything there with new eyes.

  34. I am wondering who all was polled, I wasn’t nor was anyone I know. Many people in several states. I am sure that number is even higher than their “poll” suggests!!

  35. All I know is,if weed becomes legal in all 50 states, screw this messed up place, I’ll turn my back on America for good and relocate to another more sensible country.

  36. All of these comments are so true! One thing I have to say is when people say things like ”Marijuana will destroy your life…” it is a load of bullshit. The only way it ”DESTROYS” your life is because the government, authorities, etc. place these criminal charges on people and give jail time. This isn’t just unfair. It is WRONG.

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