Poll: Nearly Six In Ten Voters Say Legalizing Marijuana “Makes Societies Better”

Legalize marijuanaNearly six in ten voters ages 18 and older believe that “legalizing marijuana makes societies better,” according to the results of a recently published Harvard-Harris poll.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents answered the question affirmatively. Forty-three percent of respondents said that marijuana legalization makes societies “worse.”

Only 14 percent of poll respondents believe that cannabis should not be legal for either medical or social use.

Seventy-two percent of those polled say that those convicted of marijuana possession offenses in non-legal states should not face jail time.

A nationally representative sample of 2,032 registered participated in the poll.

18 thoughts

  1. I would vote yes! Thanks for the good news, NORML.
    If I may –

    I just saw Justin Strekal on ‘America’s Lawyer’ via YouTube and with the help of his supportive host he hit it out of the park. I am proud to have such a well-spoken, sincere person answering those questions for us. Atta boy, Justin. Well done.

    1. The county should do a full BOYCOTT on Alcohol and or Tobacco and maybe even Vapor and see how quick things turn around for marijuana reform. If they start loosing money they may panic and push faster for the legalization of a plant in which makes people healthier and make better choices and create awesome innovations for society and the earth.

  2. 72 percent oppose jail time for marijuana busts in non-legal states? That’s more than those who support legalization itself, which I believe is around 60 percent; and it’s certainly more than those who smoke it, which is around 14 percent, if I’m not mistaken.

    Is that a strong streak of fairness I detect in the American people? Right on!

    1. When 52 percent of Americans “have tried it” but only 14 percent “smoke it” (present tense), that difference might represent some people who take some version of the standard “youthful indiscretions” cop-out answer to the question. Whether these people are afraid of legal action or social judgment, I do hope more of these people will stop playing coy, and “come out of the closet” and stick up for themselves, even if they only smoke once a decade.

  3. what about the number of people that did not get counted in your pole? I for one and my husband and a lot of friends didn’t get included and we are all over 60 and would smoke if it were legal.

  4. I am 62 years old and support legalizing marajuana for medical and recreational use. All states should comply.I am suffering from Parkinson and conic pain from 2 neck and 2 back surgeries. Make it available for those 21 and older.

  5. Paul, have you been following the decisions coming out of the National Conference of State Legislators?


    At first I was exited that enough states might rise up to amend the constitution to deschedule marijuana. But after reading their website, it appears more like Big Pharma’s agenda is at play, which is to REschedule marijuana and outlaw the smoke:

    “Institute of Medicine issued a report that examined potential therapeutic uses for marijuana. The report found that: “Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation; smoked marijuana, however, is a crude THC delivery system that also delivers harmful substances.”

    [Paul Armentano responds: The NCSL resolution calls for descheduling in order to allow for banking in legal states and so states can set their own marijuana policies free from undue federal interference. The resolution reads: “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Conference of State Legislatures believes that the Controlled Substances Act should be amended to remove cannabis from scheduling thus enabling financial institutions the ability to provide banking services to cannabis related businesses; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Conference of State Legislatures acknowledges that each of its members will have differing and sometimes conflicting views of cannabis and how to regulate it, but in allowing each state to craft its own regulations we may increase transparency, public safety, and economic development where it is wanted.”]

    1. The U.S. Congress is going to have to fix the mistake that is cannabis prohibition. The American apparatchiks in the DEA, DoJ, HHS, and IRS are most certainly not going to do it. They’ve padded their budgets with marijuana money all these years.

      DEA, DoJ and IRS especially enjoy the power trip they get from fucking over people, ruining their lives and families, taking away their freedom (new Jim Crow & prison industries), robbing the cannabis community through asset forfeiture and getting tons and tons more money off legal cannabusinesses by Not letting them take the standard business deductions.

    2. Thank you for the clarification, Paul. DEscheduling and states rights are the way to go. And the language about different states taking different approaches seems encouraging with the continued progress were making state to state. But some states want to outlaw the smoking of cannabis, and we have to watch this “Institute of Medicine.” I bet their definition of “medicine” includes patented synthetics and doesn’t include whole plants.

    3. “…smoked marijuana, however, is a crude THC delivery system that also delivers harmful substances.”
      To be sure, the “money-AND-life-saving” microdose utensil appears in a wikipedia article, titled “One-hitter (smoking)”– but by adding a flexdrawtube, holding the lightsource far enough below, and sucking slooooooow, users can entirely or mostly VAPE. Residents of “anti-$moking” states can exercise the option to insist on this anything-but-crude clarification.

  6. I absolutely believe that marijuana should be legal, I don’t believe it’s a schedule 1 drug, it’s a plant! the most natural way to receive medican and food. For those Bible thumpers who only read what suits them, read the whole thing! Instead of the parts about giving money till it hurts!it’s been said that Jesus AND deciples partook of the plant! Politicians are supposed to listen to the people who elect them, when a politician won’t do what the people want, he’s been in office too long! Legalize marijuana in America now.

  7. The people that think legalizing marijuana makes societies better are the people that agree with the founders of our country that believed Americans should be free!

    Something that does our society great harm is punishing people for something like marijuana which goes against everything I believe America should stand for.

    People like Trump’s Attorney General Jefferson Davis Beauregard Sessions III are a lot like the Nazi’s who just wanted to kill or imprison anyone who was not like them. It’s disgusting and Anti-American the way he wants to treat those of us that choose to use cannabis. I hope I live long enough to spit on his grave!

    1. German Alt-Right Wingers of the 1900s, including the Nazis, made decisions that fed off of the racism in the United States, which was Not Only in the American South. I am old enough recall TV news reports of segregation at Woolworth’s restaurant in New Jersey.

      In “Hitler’s American Model,” James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.


      The Nazi Holocaust was Not the first German genocide. The first took place in what is now Namibia, Africa. Modern Germany has apologized since, and I guess, economic development is their way of making reparations.


      It’s not surprising that racism and prejudice is at the bottom of Sessions hatred of all things cannabis.

      Sessions, the cannabis community wants you to treat each and every one of us like a mensch. Stop using cannabis prohibition for your racist ends!

      1. Biographers note that Hitler as a boy read adventure novels about anglosaxon-named heroes (“Surehand Luke” et al., i.e. could hold still and aim a gun) written by German authors, especially Karl May (no not Marx)– all about doing to “Injuns” what was later done to Jews and to Blacks what was later done to “Polacks” (i.e. enslave the slobs).

  8. The poll results do not break down approval or disapproval by age or political party that I can tell.

    The NIMBY Principal (Not In My Back Yard) is highly visible in the answers to the question about what would bother them:

    For “People using marijuana in public in your neighborhood” 50% were bothered by it.

    For “A store or business selling marijuana opened in your neighborhood” 33% were bothered by it.

    For “People using marijuana in their own homes or on their own property in your neighborhood” 16% were bothered by it.

    Take away “in public” and the out-of-sight-out-of-mind effect sets in, looks like.

    The older the voter the more likely they are NOT for legalization. There are a lot of crusty old coots and crusty old cows around my age who are against legalization here on the Least Coast, and I go back several decades with the cannabis community.


    1. You’re right about the crusties. But time is on our side. The Reefer Madness crowd is slowly but surely entering the Valhalla gates . . .

  9. While I am very encouraged by these findings, at the same I am disheartened because ironically far too many Americans, (even if they believe in cannabis reform), still continue to vote for retrograde politicians who are all to willing to enforce their willful anti cannabis ignorance at the barrel of a gun. You can’t have it both ways.

  10. God created Marijuana and he did it for a reason. To be used by men and women as medicine and to make medicinal teas & tonics.(in 1900’s) Now we have to be afraid of going to jail for even the smallest amount(in KS) where I live. SO I SAY LEGALIZE MARIJUANA COMPLETELY!!!!

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