Princeton, NJ: Nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose federal interference in state laws that allow for the legal use of the substance by adults, according to a random sampling of 1,015 adults by Gallup.
On Election Day, voters in Colorado and Washington approved measures allowing for the personal use of cannabis by those age 21 and older. Both of those state laws took effect in recent days.
According to Gallup, 64 percent of respondents do not believe that the federal government "should take steps to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in those states." Only 34 percent of respondents agree that the federal government should take actions to interfere with the implementation of these laws.
Gallup also reported that more than four out of ten respondents who oppose legalizing cannabis believe that the Administration should nonetheless respect state laws allowing for its legal possession, use, and sale. This week, US Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department will announce "relatively soon" its policy on the recently passed state measures.
The Gallup poll found Americans to be evenly divided on whether or not cannabis ought to be legal. Forty-eight percent of respondents endorse marijuana legalization while 50 percent of respondents oppose it — an increase in opposition of four percent since 2011.
Support for legalization was highest among those aged 18 to 29 (60 percent) and weakest among those over age 65 (36 percent).
The Gallup findings regarding legalization are lower than those reported by other polls, including surveys by Public Policy Polling (58 percent support for legalizing cannabis), Angus Reid (54 percent), and Quinnipiac University (51 percent).
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.