Poll: Over 90 Percent Of Americans Oppose Jailing Marijuana Possession Offenders

Poll: Over 90 Percent Of Americans Oppose Jailing Marijuana Possession OffendersPrinceton, NJ: More than nine out of 10 US adults say that people who possess or consume small quantities of cannabis should not face jail time, according to a May 2013 nationwide Reason Magazine-Rupe poll of 1,003 adults, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

According to the poll, only six percent of respondents favor jailing convicted minor marijuana offenders. Thirty-two percent of those polled favor a fine-only penalty, while 20 percent of respondents prefer that offenders receive substance abuse counseling. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed favor no punishment whatsoever.

A majority of respondents, 52 percent, also said that they would support the passage of federal legislation that would "prevent the federal government from prosecuting people who grow, possess, or sell marijuana in the states that have legalized" such activities. Only 42 percent said that they would oppose such a law. A previous national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in April similarly reported that most Americans favor the federal government no longer enforcing anti-marijuana laws in states that have approved its use.

The Reason-Rupe survey possesses a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percent.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.