Poll: Two-Thirds Of Americans Say ‘Efforts To Enforce Marijuana Laws Cost More Than They Are Worth’

legalization_pollSixty-five percent of Americans ages 18 and older believe that “government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth” and 55 percent of respondents say that the plant’s use ought to be legal, according to national polling data compiled by YouGov.com.

Those living in the western region of the United States (65 percent), Hispanics (64 percent), Democrats (63 percent), and those under 30 (63 percent) were most likely to endorse legalizing marijuana use. Republicans (45 percent), African Americans (44 percent), and those over the age of 65 (40 percent) were least likely to be supportive.

By contrast, a majority of respondents of all ages and political persuasions agreed with the notion that marijuana law enforcement costs more than it’s worth.

In response to a separate polling question, respondents agreed by a margin of more than 2 to 1 that the government should not enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states that have legalized its use.

A majority of those polled also disputed the allegation that cannabis use is a ‘gateway’ to other illicit drug use. Of those under the age of 60, only 25 percent believed the claim.

The YouGov.com survey polled 1,000 US citizens and possesses a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.

37 thoughts

  1. So: apparently, the viewpoint at the political center of gravity of marijuana policy is: “Marijuana is bad, but marijuana prohibition is worse.” I can’t agree with that, but there it is.

    Like many folks born in the sixties, I just assumed, for many years, that marijuana prohibition would be repealed, once people understood the facts. Wrong! In hindsight, I think I erred because I made false assumptions about American society (if there is one such thing), and about human nature in general. I think I failed to understand that people and societies prefer opinions over facts, and beliefs over truths. We’re capable of reason and rationality, but it takes a lot of work; we’re not automatically reasonable or rational. That was my first mistake.

    Then, when deliberate marijuana policy reform didn’t happen, I figured, surely it must collapse under its own stupid weight! Surely, the sheer scale of the blunder will make it obvious to policy-makers that a fix is desperately needed. Wrong again! This time, I failed to account for the money involved, and for the influence that it would have — it keeps the monster alive indefinitely!

    I still don’t understand people. I still find it strange that we give the lowest priority to the best reason of all: cannabis is wonderful! It’s good for you! It heals your mind, body, and soul; and, it has a safety record that is second to none — it’s a miracle drug! It is given to us by Nature (or God, if you prefer), handed to us on a silver platter, along with all it’s benefits and pleasures. But we’ve been too thick-in-the-skull to take the free offer! It is alarming to realize that even our basic primal animal motives of self-interest and self-preservation can be so dramatically skewed by money. “What a piece of work is Man!” (Shakespeare.)

    Nevertheless, here we are, in the middle of a green tsunami — let us celebrate, even as the work of policy reform continues!

    1. Great post Mark, but easy on the “silver platter.” Remember our ancestors coevolved with cannabis to create the unique symbiotic relationship we have that creates nontoxic homeostasis through whole plant cannabinoid nutrition. In that sense, cannabis prohibition is the prohibition of the natural development of the human species by denying one of the key evolutionary plants that made us humans capable of self-awareness.
      Cannabis was an essential part of the birth of every major religion today on earth. We don’t have to be rational or even believe in God to understand that any patent of cannabinoids must be made open source… We just have to understand endocannabinoids are part of who we are and cannabis is food for the body, mind and soul. Oh wait, that IS rational thought. Oh well, sorry Trump supporters, we’ll just have to hot box the next Republican convention and hope for the best. (At least we can hope some weed will calm down Gulianni before his lower teeth pop out… That was vulgar…)

      1. I completely agree, Julian!
        Humans and cannabis are co-evolutionary species. And I’m glad you mentioned it, because it is important to remember that cannabis is a living species with which we have a unique relationship — it is something so much more than a “drug.” But my point about the “silver platter” was simply that we already have it (cannabis), now — all we need to do is accept it. For those who believe in God (respects to Judy McKenzie above, I looked up GEN.1:29, and it’s about God giving us seed-bearing plants for us to eat), it’s a gift.

      2. We do have it, and we owe that to our ancestors who cultivated cannabis and the cannabis plant itself. We are kind of making the same point, I simply add it is imperative we not only pick the plant for our current needs, but we study the myriad utility of cannabis strains from its ethnibotanical origins, less we forget its intimate purpose in human societies.
        Look at us now with yellow corn; we are mass producing corn in a genetically engineered monoculture, feeding it to cows to fatten them for profit even though the nutrients must be cooked out of the corn kernels with ash… Even when drought decimates the thirsty crops modified to use more water in order to resist the herbicide Round Up…. Why? Because industries are not stopping to ask the American Indians that cultivated corn how the corn is traditionally prepared, roasted or fried, but never intended for pigs and cows.
        But cannabis is. The roots and stems many cannabis producers discard can go to feed livestock producing %40 leaner beef and pork. While corn for feed absorbs tax subsidies, farm insurance and precious soil and water, we could be saving corn for human consumption as it was originally intended for cultivation while supplying hemp roots to produce leaner livestock with less hemp and marijuana stock higher in protein.
        And that lesson comes from learning from our ancestors, not corporate monoculture like Monsantos.

    2. On the issue of cannabis, the Democrats have been entirely hesitant to embrace reform so much so that the ONLY reason in this election cycle they made the vaguely worded promise to “make a pathway for legalization” as part of the Democratic Party platform (and it was heavily resisted — the vote was 48% against) is because of the pressure from Bernie Sanders who called for cannabis to be removed entirely from the Controlled Substances Act (Democrats are calling for Schedule 2 — which also contains cocaine.) All of this makes me think that there really is value in not blindly voting for your party. By all means vote, but vote for who best represents your ideals and not who you are intimidated into voting for. Your vote needs to be earned, not demanded.

  2. Poll after poll shows majority support for legalizing marijuana and yet the Govt still believes in locking people up and stealing their stuff over it.

    I was really hoping that Hillary Clinton would pick a pro-legalization VP but Tim Caine got and F grade from NORML for his anti-marijuana activities. I have been waiting for her to make her VP pick so as to help me decide who to vote for to be our next president and the answer is: GARY JOHNSON!!!

    We, the cannabis users of the USA, should all send the strongest possible message to the political elite by giving out vote to Gary. He is the only person running for president that truly understands the harms of marijuana prohibition and wants to legalize our favorite plant.

    If Hillary or Trump becomes our next president then we can all look forward to at least another 10 or more years of prohibition and DEA bullying. Maybe I’m wrong but why risk it? Open your mind and vote for Gary!!!

    1. And yet, despite getting an “F” from NORML, one of Tim Kaine’s headlines on Huffington Post this morning was “an old-fashioned liberal.”

      Which threw me. How can you call yourself a liberal, and get an “F” from NORML?

      Then I started thinking about the “old-fashioned” part, and thinking back to a time when I hadn’t heard of the “progressive” label– you were either liberal or conservative. And support for legalization was very low in both camps. And I remembered having this argument before, telling a so-called “liberal” who supported marijuana position that “support for prohibition is not a liberal position!” I was told “Yes it is.” WTF? That’s about the time I migrated to the “progressive” label. If being a Liberal means supporting marijuana prohibition, then count me out!

      1. Oh I know I couldn’t believe it when she picked Kaine for her VP. What was she thinking? She even thought about Governor Hickinlooper who has reasontly said the legalization of MJ is working. I have never voted for a Republican and I just don’t think I can.

    2. @ Miles,
      …And one more thing, if I may, Miles…

      According to MPP, here are the presidential candidates grades, of those still running:
      Jill Stein: A+
      Gary Johnson: A+
      Hillary Clinton: B+
      Donald Trump: C+

      If you accept that it may statistically come down to Hillary or Trump, then you might be willing to pass on a “bird in the bush” (an A+ with Stein or Johnson) in exchange for a “bird in the hand” (a B+ with Hillary), in order to avoid “losing both birds” (a C+ with Trump, and oh yeah, also a fascist dictatorship along with that.)

      I consider Hillary a prohibitionist. So, how has Hillary earned her B+? The rest is a sample, cut and paste from MPP directly (about Hillary):

      What has she said?
      “I think what the states are doing right now needs to be supported, and I absolutely support all the states that are moving toward medical marijuana, moving toward — absolutely — legalizing it for recreational use.

      “What I’ve said is let’s take it off the what’s called Schedule I and put it on a lower schedule so that we can actually do research about it. There’s some great evidence about what marijuana can do for people who are in cancer treatment, who have other kind of chronic diseases, who are suffering from intense pain. There’s great, great anecdotal evidence but I want us to start doing the research.” Jimmy Kimmel Live, March 24, 2016

      1. Miles, third party candidates aren’t designed to win in this country. It’s just a sad fact. It takes years of law changing and campaign structuring and enough Americans voting which just isn’t happening to let Gary win. As much as I hate Hillary, voting for Gary is one less vote against Trump. Do the Research. You’ll see.

      2. Cannabis obviously does not belong in schedule 1, 2, or even 3. What I would like to know is why Hillary Clinton is choosing to ignore thousands of studies that have already been done. Does she really think that millions more dollars need to be spent on more studies first? Can she really be so foolish as to believe that thousands of more good Americans need to be locked up and have their lives ruined before finally, actually, doing something about it besides giving lip service about needing to be further studied?

        Personally I am not impressed with her statements regarding cannabis thus far.

      3. Check it out, here’s the link to MPP’s presidential candidates, and their grades:


        What Hillary really knows or thinks, we’ll never be able to say. Whether she’s personally driven by principle, or pragmatism, or ambition, or what, …is a question on which we can only speculate.

        And while that certainly matters, easier to answer is the question, “what to do with my vote?”

        Right now, it seems she’s our best best.

      4. Hillary Clinton is very book smart, but has no street smarts. Or something close to this… She doesn’t lie so much as just is wrong about so many facts, it is as though she were lying. The problem is Neoliberalism, it has rotted out both of our main parties. It puts profit above individual/human rights. It is the source of our Police State.

    1. See free wiki article, “12.9 Easy Ways to Make 25.9-mg. Vape Toke Utensils From $1.29 Worth of Everyday Junk Left Behind in Your Garage by the Previous God”. Read first two sections (Socket Wrench Oneheater, Barbed Hose Nipple Oneheater), sign in, edit, improve, add better pictures, print out, post mini-posters near bus stops, etc.

      1. Uhh huh huh! Why don’t you do us all a favor and PROVE GOD ISNT REAL??! I’d like to see that…

      2. Does it really matter what definition of God we believe in when all life, from the sun, to marijuana, to humans or even the tiniest chromosome, are all merely components of the same living, breathing universe?

  3. Just because some people wreck their car – doesn’t mean driving should be illegal. It really is the safest drug. Less harmful than sugar. A 150 lb. person would have to smoke 75 lbs. nugs in 2 hours to OD… It helps you be happy, feel pleasure for at least 1 hour 30 minutes. We should legalize it for pleasure sake. Once you try it you will like it.

    1. Don’t call me a troll, but I must disagree with one thing, that stuff about “happy”– what happened to “Inspirational”? What about “Occupational”? “Happy” is code language for “apathetic”. Walmart and Home Depot want you to buy more rich guy snob furniture, that’s all.

      The right (but left wing, heh heh) way to use cannabis is right before 90 minutes of intense innovative creative achievement, like a walk in the woods trimming low dead branches that could have speared a running kid in the eye, or picking up dead branches off the ground so no one trips over them etc. Certain longer ones can be made into walksticks for us geezers or croquet mallet handles for young and old.

      If you must SIT, like some users regrettably do, then do two-handed Worker Party handwork making good toolhandles and education toys out of wood to replace the $21.98 walmart molded plastic baby or gun lookalike type toys which train a child to be a possessor instead of a user/doer.

      PS, it’s an herb, not a drug– unless you combust instead of vape. Meanwhile thanks for your comments, keep reading and writing, influence the politicians, don’t vote for any ca$ino a$$holes.

      1. Sorry?? For happy? Sometimes when I smoke I feel like I’m breathing in love! How do you describe an emotion? And another thing, I don’t have money to go to Vermont to hike a trail while high and don’t live right next to the Appalachian trail. Wouldn’t hike it anyway with bear and crummy biker sightings… I sometimes don’t have money for bud let alone have something better than sit and watch movies and listen to music… I find it highly insulting that you have the money for vaporizers plenty of weed not k2 AND great things to do while high and I’m hoping someone lends me $100 before I get paid so I can buy 4 grams k2 gas to get it and a meal. Some people are blessed some are unfairly not. I know I’m supposed to feel great because my poor crappy life isn’t even worse in Africa or Asia… Rely on the goodness of others… No such thing, at least the people I’ve met.. Sorry if I killed your buzz. I have no buzz to kill. Just take another hit and go design a building or something. My regards to the blessed people.

      2. Clarification: you don’t need Plenty of Money to buy vaporizers, you can vaporize just fine with a Flexdrawtube Oneheater (in that misnamed Smoke Pipes from Everyday article).
        At $10 a gram in my present city a 25-mg single toke costs me $0.25.

        In your town every storm brings down branches you can make intriguing newly invented toys and tools out of. Something to do after a toke of the real thang. Good luck

  4. “Look, we knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be Black, poor, or young (Hippie) in the United States, but we knew we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health issue that we were making them out to be but it was such a perfect issue that we couldn’t resist it”. John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s Chief of Domestic Relations stated regarding Nixon’s rational for his “War on Drugs”. Also, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, (Nixon’s Chief of Staff), said that Nixon emphasized that “The problem is really the Blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to”. A very hateful, spiteful Nixon then put Marijuana a schedule 1 drug along with Heroin. Nixon believed the Blacks used Heroin and the poor and young people (draft dodging people) opposed to Viet Nam war. He created the DEA and started the War on Drugs which became a war on the American people and now it has become a War on Police. That’s where we are today 46 years later and no one has done anything about this drug war.

    1. 1. Cannabis is an herb, not a drug– unless like so many suckers you combust (CO, 4211 toxins) instead of vape.

      2. Drugs ARE health issue number one, but of course the Drugs are $ugar (Dr. Olson says 15 million deaths a year), $igarettes (WHO: 6 million), alcohol (WHO: 2.5 million).

      3. Don’t let the crap Nixon did stop you from voting Nix in 20-0-1-six!

      4. The wikiHow article referred to above as “12 Easy Ways to…” if you couldn’t find it is actually the article “How to Make Smoke Pipes from Everyday Objects”– they changed the first part of the title, we’re going to fix the rest soon (Vape Toke Utensils).

      1. Mexweed, after years of reading your stubborn posts, you helped me reach an epiphany over some of our many opponents prohibition propaganda;
        Sure, vaporizing is non toxic, but so are medibles, the number one cause for accidental child consumption for marijuana.
        NPR’s “Here and Now” just rolled out a horrible interview yesterday with Dr. Wang, from the University of Colorado and director at the state’s Children’s Hospital. When Dr. Wang used the words “poisonous” and “toxic,” two misnomers about marijuana because it is impossible to overdose or cause death from excess consumption of cannabis, unless you have a gas mask on and shut out oxygen in which case cause of death would be attributed to “axphixiation due to stupidity and/or suffocation.”
        The first question from NPR’s commentator Terry Gross from “Here and Now was, “What is this, second hand smoke? I assume small children aren’t smoking cannabis…”
        Dr. Wang went on to say it was primarily marijuana edibles causing calls to poison control, calling marijuana “toxic,” which is just plain not true. Marijuana is neither poisonous nor toxic, and only barely when smoked. If a kid eats a pile of aspirin, thats poisonous and toxic, because the child could die if too many are swallowed.
        However, smoked cannabis provides only trace amounts of toxins. Not near the lethal levels of tobacco of course, but being the traditional form of consumption, most non-marijuana-consuming Americans associate the effects of marijuana from smoked inhalation, so the truth about child ingestion from marijuana edibles gets misconstrued by prohibitionist propaganda. Kids accidentally consuming marijuana edibles are NOT consuming anything poisonous or toxic. Only temporary psychoactive effects from THC metabolization.
        Thank you Mexweed for helping me spell that out!

      2. I looked up Terry Gross to check on first name spelling (you were right), got sidetracked into looking at images, there was one of her holding a burning cigar… well, users say they don’t inhale (but what about the $ide $tream?).

        One problem has been confusion between Second Hand $moke and $ide$tream $moke. Second Hand has been in and out of user’s lungs and all the CO and most other toxins removed (safer for us kids out here!), whereas $ide$tream has 5 times as much CO as Main$tream, 30 times as much sulphur dioxide etc. That was one reason I pleaded with Keith to abandon the picture of himself with $tinky $ide$tream $pewing joint– well at least he changed to one which shows no $ide$tream.

        Shame on JAMA for allowing misleading Wang “drug” diction, yes the survey numbers were way too small to justify headlines, plus medibles hardly existed a decade ago so of course more children got to them recently and groanups overreacted with ambulance money.

        Maybe I’m wrong but I think a 25-mg Vape Toke is $afer for kids or anybody than edibles, especially highly concentrated. To get the vapetoke message out will take overriding not only anti-cannabis propaganda but a century of pro-$igarette saleswhoop including “precursor toys” like the white/tan cowmilkformula babybottle and the toy gun.

    2. Yeah. I knew there were “Blue Meanies” in the 60’s and early 70’s… and I knew Nixon was Satan incarnate, by the disgust on the faces around me whenever his name was mentioned.

      But today, over 40 years later, I might have used the character “Dr. Evil” instead of “Blue Meanies” to describe the deliberate evil being perpetrated against us.

      Honestly, it’s still hard for me to grasp that level of malice. I’ve done all sorts of shitty things in my life, but I regret them — I’ve been a “bad person” before, but it’s never been one of my life’s goals!

  5. If any recent action has reflected the views of a majority of Americans its getting Washmoney Shultz to resign as chair of the DNC. Now we have to back NORML PAC and donate to http://www.TimCanova.com to get her out of Congress. We may not be able to stop the Clinton machine this election season but we can still vote in and donate to a more Progressive Congress more favorable to legalization which is where the laws are made anyway.

  6. ‘Efforts To Enforce Marijuana Laws Cost More Than They Are Worth’

    This is a no-brainer since the effort is worth Approximately $0.00 in my opinion!

  7. I always had said that it Will Be Legal before I die… I am still alive, @ least last check

  8. A vote for Trump is a vote for republicans and prohibition. Don’t be be fooled into voting for Trump, reform would stall……besides, I couldn’t live with the fact that I voted for him….ever.

  9. In the past four decades, the US government has spent over 1 Trillion Dollars on this war. In 1980 we had 50,000 people behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes and now we have over half a million! I think if more people knew what this was really costing us they would have a different opinion.

    1. Thanks for that point, the confirmation is really in your username– we could have had vape pen technology 40 years ago if entrepreneurs hadn’t been scared they’d be shut down before making the first dollar off it.

      (Not that I don’t stick with my premise (tested thousands of times anecdotally) that you can vape just fine with a flexdrawtube oneheater.)

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