CBS News Poll: Majority Of Americans Back Legalizing Marijuana

The majority of Americans say that marijuana is safer than alcohol and believe that its use should be legal, according to nationwide polling data compiled by CBS News.

Fifty-three percent of respondents answered ‘yes’ to the question, “Should marijuana use be legal?” That is the highest level of support ever recorded by CBS pollsters since they began posing the question in 1979. Forty-three percent of respondents opposed legalization.

Males, younger voters, and Democrats were most likely to support marijuana’s legalization. Seventy-four percent of those who acknowledged having tried marijuana said that the plant ought to be legalized, compared to just 35 percent who have never used it.

The majority of respondents (51 percent) agreed that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol. Only 12 percent of respondents said they believed that marijuana was more harmful than booze, while 28 percent said that both substances were equally harmful.

Forty-three percent of respondents acknowledged having consumed marijuana, an increase of nine percent since 1997. Seventy-five percent of respondents said that it would not matter to them if a Presidential candidate admitted having tried it.

On the question of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, 84 percent of respondents supported allowing physicians to authorize cannabis therapy to their patients.

The CBS News poll is the latest in a series of national surveys showing majority support for legalizing and regulating marijuana.

22 thoughts

  1. It is truly just a few useless politicians keeping prohibition in place; mostly the Republican Congress… These ignorant racist greedy jerks need to go the way of the dinosaur and make way for those of us that believe in freedom and liberty!

    Are you listening Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Boehner??? Oh yeah, you’re all happy as long as you have your cigarettes, booze, and corporate donations (bribes).

  2. The big reason the powers that be wont letus have weed free from B.S. is money. The government is making a killing from pharmaceutical companys, the alcohol industry,and fines taken from those who don’t want to obey ignorant laws. We ghost ave to put the right people in power a let the rest of those crooked S.O.B’s go back to selling used cars.

  3. This upward trend of approval needs to continue.

    Is it scaremongering when someone is telling the public that one cannabis plant uses 6 gallons of water a day over the span of 150 days? That much for just one plant sounds suspicious.

    Take a look at this from High Times:

    “The panel, brought together by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, heard from a string of public safety advocates who warned of potential fallout from the courtroom to backcountry pot fields.

    Paul Gallegos, a former district attorney in the marijuana-growing heartland of Humboldt County, noted that a pot plant needs 6 gallons of water each day over its 150-day growing cycle.”

  4. @TheOracle – 6 gals is possible if you are watering your plants outdoors in the middle of a very dry place (a desert). Of course, in such a place it would be a serious waste of water. I think 1/2 to 1 gal/day is more normal.

  5. @Oracle:
    That ‘s what I’ve been saying all along to my “conservative” politicians here in Texas; Cannabis is Conservative. It uses HALF the water than corn or cotton while producing TWICE the protein and cellulosic fiber.

    And we’re still using most of our water on water-hogging genetically engineered yellow corn to feed our pigs and cattle? Wtf?

    Stems and roots from drought-resistant, recycled marijuana in Washington State has been producing %40 leaner pigs since they regulated marijuana.

    Annnd… Were still using water-hogging genetically engineered yellow corn in the drought-stricken South West? WTF?

  6. Polls and votes don’t carry the affects they used to. Voter ignorance is touted for ignoring voter demands by administrators profiting openly from their office and rank.

  7. Well the state of Louisiana it seems like the more freedom other states are having in the m.m.j. world. It doesn’t seem like the courts down here are getting tougher on marijuana laws. Whatever you do bypass Calcasieu Parish if you know what’s good for you. The Sherriff and the D.A.will declare you a menace to society and make you leave if you live here. In Louisiana they can arrest you for anything and make your bond so high you might be locked for 2 years before you see the judge. I promise you it’s bad when the law looks at the survelence tapes to see who’s buying papers.

  8. @ Miles Thanks. I’m thinking about retiring in Texas if cancer doesn’t kill me first. I would love it if Texas legalized. I’m wondering how much the Mexican cartels have their tentacles in things in Texas as far as holding up legalization for the sheer reason that it would really dig in deep into their profits.

    Every time I see a legal cannabis sale on television, that’s money that didn’t go to the cartels, that isn’t going to fuel violence in Mexico because of cannabis.

    Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania yet another medical cannabis bill is wending its way through the legislature, and each place it stops the prohibitionists are putting ever more restrictions on it just like the times before. It’s going to the full Senate, then over to the House, and by the time everyone’s had at it the legislation will have its list of allowable disease cut short, to the point will it will be completely useless, existing only on paper. It’ll be as shitty as New York state’s or New Jersey’s, or worse yet, just for low CBD tinctures for seizures, basically only for epilepsy. The rest of the patients who in other states would definitely qualify are just plain old fucked. Senator Folmer wants vaporization in the legislation. Looks like only nebulization and oral ingestion are allowed. Forget about smoking it as a legal option if they won’t even allow vaporizing. It’s looking like what could be a nice piece of legislation is going to turn out to be a piece of shit, another prohibitionist turd the prohibitionists are acting like it’s a bone they’re tossing to the cannabis community, like it’s a gift they even let us have that.

    Senator Mike Folmer’s Mike’s Memo Week of April 27, 2015

    Update: Medical Cannabis (Column for Publication)
    Last Session, I was pleased to lead efforts to bring medical cannabis to our Commonwealth. Twenty three other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. My goal for Pennsylvania is to help those with medical challenges – especially children with seizure disorders – to benefit from a medicinal strain of cannabis.

    Some children have hundreds of seizures a day, making normal childhood development impossible and forcing parents to helplessly watch their children suffer. Medical cannabis is a much safer and more effective solution than the current prescribed narcotic cocktails of highly addictive and dangerous drugs that offer very little relief.

    Fortunately, after months of work, last Session’s Senate Bill 1182 overwhelmingly passed the Senate, 43–7. However, there wasn’t enough time for it to be considered by the House and I reintroduced the measure passed last year by the Senate as this year’s Senate Bill 3.

    Since reintroduction, I’ve been working hard to refine SB 3 through numerous discussions, changes and compromises. Some wanted to see SB 3 expanded while others had concerns and asked for more restrictions.

    The Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, held a public hearing and heard from both advocates and opponents of medical cannabis. As a result of that hearing and subsequent discussions, we’ve learned more about a number of issues.

    For example, some thought the definition of “health care practitioner” was too broad. Others noted edible cannabis products have created problems in other states. Both parents and many experts agreed the best delivery method for medical cannabis for certain diseases is vaporization – especially children with seizures and veterans with PTSD.

    Looking at other states, we learned most allowing medical cannabis include HIV/AIDS and glaucoma on the list of covered diseases. Also, technology exists to provide for immediate and 24-hour tracking of products like cannabis.

    To address these issues, we drafted a comprehensive amendment, which was unanimously approved on April 21 by the Senate State Government Committee when it reported SB 3 to the full Senate for consideration.

    This amendment makes a number of important changes, including the addition of a “real time” registry to track the validity of medical cannabis cards and the growth, production and distribution of medical cannabis.

    The amendment also eliminated the production of edible cannabis products – although patients would be allowed to mix prescribed medical cannabis into their foods, such as herbal teas and mashed potatoes. The SB 3 amendment slightly expands the list of covered diseases to include HIV/AIDS and glaucoma. It also adds nebulization as a delivery method.

    While these changes are important and hopefully address the larger concerns with bringing medical cannabis to Pennsylvania, I would like to see additional modifications to SB 3. In particular, I would like the list of diseases and conditions expanded – especially to include diabetes, neuralgia and possibly pain management. I would also like to see vaporization included as I do not believe nebulization is the best delivery method for some diseases – vaporization is much better.

    However, more importantly is we’re advancing the debate on medical cannabis. Hopefully, SB 3 will again be passed by the full Senate and sent to the House for broader deliberation and further action.

    In the interim, I want to thank all of those who have been involved in the medical cannabis debate – supporters and opponents alike. I’m thankful for the support we’ve received and grateful for all the hard work that has gone into this important initiative to date. I remain committed to addressing the lingering fears that exist.

    While we’ve come far and still have far to go, my goal remains the same: give patients the best options possible in battling their diseases and conditions.

  9. “Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Boehner”

    Boehner listens, but the rest? We’re their narcissistic extensions, they don’t need to ask what we need, they will tell US what we need. They don’t need to learn anything, they are already perfect, you’re just jealous you don’t have their skill level. Just ask Christie, he’ll tell you all week how just freaking awesome he is. I’m mean he acts like food is crack cocaine, but he also thinks us potheads are the ones in need of being taught right from wrong. And that is a sad joke on all of us.

  10. @Oracle
    Today, Texas NORML called us to action and I and many others responded by calling Representative Herrero, the last remaining member on committee standing between HR507 to decriminalize marijuana in the state of Texas.

    The crazy thing is it could very well pass committee and get vetoed by Governor Greg Abbott. But that would really put the nail in the coffin for Republicans prior to elections.
    I should point out I kept calling representative David Simpson’s office. He is a Libertarian Republican, and he introduced another bill with full legalization, (with little chance of passing) but it was important to get his staff to ask him if he would support HB507, to which he said yes, proving he’s not plying votes away from decrim.
    Simpson even stood up as the only Republican who voted against removing power from the DA to investigate the Governor’s office and gave that power to some fox agency out of the Texas Rangers office . Made me wish Libertarians would reason on taxing marijuana to fund public education like Colorado did, and they’d have my vote.
    In order to legalize cannabis in Texas, I am a Progressive Democrat on domestic policy, a moderate Democrat on foreign policy, and I would have to develop a Democratic caucus in my home county just to put a Democrat on the ballot. But all the while I have to reason with Republicans, educate my Congressman and convince everyone why legalization is good for everyone.

    As much as I love to analyze our Federal dilemmas, it ‘s local policy and our local and state legislatures that make the final difference.

  11. Please write your local, state, & federal legislature to create & support a retro active amendment removing marijuana offenses from the Class X felony list. Eradicate mandatory minimum marijuana sentencing.


    35 states have legalized medical marijuana or are passing legislation regulating the
    use of cannabidiol oils (CBD). Now is the time to reset federal law.

    Recent polls show about 75 percent of Americans support a patient’s right to use
    cannabis without fear of criminal prosecution if their doctor believes it may help.

    Used incorrectly, marijuana causes damage and reasonable people want it to remain a controlled substance. However, current federal regulations stand in the way of scientific advancement and medical management of an important drug.

    As only 1 example: Throughout our country we have a major problem with deaths from prescription narcotic-related overdose. In states that have allowed medically authorized cannabis for pain relief, the narcotics overdose rate has dropped significantly.

    Patients break federal law if they possess any medical cannabis, including the nonintoxicating oil and are subject to prosecution. There is no good reason why patients and their families should have to take that risk.

    The federal government can punish patients because cannabis is a “Schedule 1” drug according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

    The DEA has obstinately refused to reschedule cannabis into the less restrictive
    Schedule 2 category. That’s why properly crafted new federal legislation is needed.

    Although Schedule 2 drugs have a high potential for abuse, they have an accepted medical application and are much easier to obtain for purposes of important
    academic research.

    More U.S. Senators and Representatives are becoming co-sponsors of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, Senate bill S 683 and House bill HR 1538.

    The CARERS Act would allow patients, doctors and businesses in states that have already passed medical marijuana laws to participate in those programs without fear of federal prosecution.

    The Act is does five things:

    * It removes cannibidiol (CBD oil) from the federal definition of marijuana.

    * It reschedules marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2. This keeps recreational use illegal under federal law.

    * It allows banking institutions to process transactions with legitimate state-regulated,
    cannabis-based businesses.

    * It increases availability of marijuana for FDA approved research projects, and allows VA Medical Center doctors to advise and assist patients regarding use of medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

    Co-sponsor U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. noted: “This important bill brings the federal
    government in line with the science and the American people.”

    And co-sponsor Rep. Don Young, R-Ak. commented, “The CARERS Act aims to protect states that have legalized medical marijuana and allows them to properly enforce their own laws.”

    Your support for balanced reform will show you defend state’s rights, even if you oppose federal legalization of recreational marijuana.

    During a recent interview with CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta,
    President Obama stated how he feels about the CARERS Act. “I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to some ideology on this issue”, he said.

    These bills have now moved to the committee level in the U.S. Senate and House.
    Additional support is needed to help them emerge for a full vote.

    Therefore, I encourage you to sign on as an additional co-sponsor of the CARERS Act, S 683 or HR 1538.

  13. Texans will have an intense fight to legalize marijuana because it’s home sweet home and distribution central, for at least 6 of the largest MX cartels. Marijuana constitutes at least 60% of cartel income. It’s making lots of seemingly “upright” folks really really rich.

  14. Hey everyone! F#$k these lawmakers…

    Think about it… they want to tax our weed!

    They want us to pay the government and rich farmers more than we pay dealers!

    I smoke it to get high… it helps me to escape the roller coaster of emotions I experience as a bi-polar individual.

    But, everyone should have the right to decide to get high instead of getting drunk.

    I don’t know about you but I grew up in a time when you shared your weed… and enjoyed the high with friends or loved ones laughing the day off and blowing off the stress which comes with life… while others got drunk… we came down in an hour or so… and could drive after the high settled down and we are able to maintain as practiced users… but our friends getting drunk could not drive after two drinks for the rest of the night…

    We should have the right to grow it… to smoke it and to share it… and we should be able to smoke good weed without limits on THC… and when they remove the CBD they remove they turn it into an unsafe drug… so any replacement for our drug of choice by the pharmaceutical companies cannot touch the effortless magic which this simple weed affords us.

    So legalize it… get our people out of jail… clear our records… and do what is right… get behind the revolution to make this a drug of choice in America… where we should be free to choose how to blow off the stress of a day without fear of reprisal by a repressive government.

    We have been oppressed since Nixon did this… get it off the schedule altogether and stop this stupid argument.

    This is wrong. People have lost so much over this stupid attempt to control people in America creating controversy when there should be none.

    We will not be the land of the free again until they (our very own Government) stop lying to the people and demonizing the very thing which brings so very many people happiness without any problems except those imposed upon them by the establishment.


  15. Here is a harmless natural herb which the medical research is actually proving to prevent [or at least slow the onset of] cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health hazards. It is also a curative for many conditions and the most effective of pain relievers. Everyone can check the legitimate research about it as I have.

    Why is there still a debate about legalization?

  16. “Why is there still a debate about legalization?”

    Because assholes cannot help themselves. They will be assholes no matter what, right Governor Christie? He can’t stop eating, nor being an asshole; he has an addiction to both.

  17. we are being so victimized by our own government! remember viet nam and the outcry of the american people, do we have to do this again?

  18. Used incorrectly, marijuana causes damage – Matthew Hine, M.D., M.P.H.

    I challenge you to cite specific credible scientific/medical evidence of the specific damage from consuming cannabis incorrectly?

  19. People have lost so much over this stupid attempt to control people in America… – Michael

    That was always the point…Do you see four or five fingers, Winston?

    Forcing citizens to “obey/submit” to wrongful nonsensical “laws” make it easier to CON-trol a population living in fear of being brutalized and then put in a steel cage.

    Livin’ scared in The Land of the Free…is not Freedom…it is persecution with a purpose.

    What is the definition of freedom?

    Are we born free or must we seek permission to be free?

    May I purty please be free, Massa?…is the pitiful plea of a subjugated Slave.

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