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Survey: Majority of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization

April 05, 2013  | 

Photo via eggrole/Flickr.
Photo via eggrole/Flickr.

A majority of Americans support making marijuana legal, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

For the first time in its 40 years of polling, a majority of respondents (52%) said they would support legalizing marijuana. About 45% said marijuana should remain illegal, while the remainder were undecided. A Gallup poll conducted in 1969 found that just 12% supported making marijuana legal and 84% were opposed.

"These results do not just represent a tipping point," said Steve Fox, national political director for the Marijuana Policy Project Elected. Officials across the country need to listen to the people."

Detailed survey results can be viewed here.

Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

[email protected] @ 4/6/2013 10:05 AM

Funny. I e-mailed over 20 acquaintances and nobody had been polled. Am I wrong to think that at least one person would have been asked? And those responding cover everyone from retired and active LEOs to ex lawbreakers. Maybe the poll was conducted in Pews office. Would not surprise me. Blues, Saty Safe.

Dan @ 4/6/2013 10:10 AM

Nah I'm pretty sure a majority of America's support it. Examples of majorities can be found in any of the states were marijuanas have passed and especially Colorado and Washington. The legalization of marijuana isn't a bad thing.

Chuck @ 4/8/2013 5:25 PM

For all those that want to legalize everything, I say great. do what you want, when you want as long as..... I don't have to pay for any of your treatment from what ever it is that comes with your choices. You all jump up and down espousing your right to smoke whatever, that no one is being hurt etc... so be it. if you get sick, my taxes don't go to help "cure you." you don't get state disability, you pay for your own medical, legal expenses, not me. if you all would simply step up and take the full onus upon yoursleves and i never had to deal in any way with you or spend my hard earned money for you to make your personal choices, i would support you one hundred percent. it will never happen though, you know it and so do I. I will be arresting you for driving stoned placing everyone including my family in danger (same as alcohol), I will be arresting you for theft, being stoned in public, having some douchebag stealing your stash, or breaking into someoned house so they can buy their dope. pot heads are no different than the town drunk, town hype, town lifetime welfare case. it is no wonder the majority of those on welfare and some other form of non-working assistance and who apparently now outnumber the working class of folks want their government money and their weed too. "lie to the fans, don't lie to the players." it has nothing to do with being "medical," you just like to get high. Of course according to these numbers, it looks like you don't need your bullshit lines anymore, come right out and say it, it is okay, you have support.

Jim A @ 4/8/2013 6:25 PM

This result does not surprise me. About the same percentage of Americans are idiots! I will give you one guess on which way they voted.

Liberalism on all sides is killing America. That feeling that "everything is ok" that is rampant in America is having a huge cost. I live in Washington and our idiot voters just legalized marijuana. DUI is still illegal and texting or talking on a cell phone is illegal, but marijuana is now legal. Makes no sense at all to me. And what message are we sending to our children? Adults - stand up and be an example. (I mean a POSITIVE example!)

Bruce @ 4/8/2013 7:00 PM

Legalize it and tax the living crap out of it.

Bruce @ 4/8/2013 7:00 PM

Legalize it and tax the living crap out of it.

notme @ 4/8/2013 7:14 PM

Legalizing drugs that intoxicate people is never a good thing. Here in California its semi legal narco terrorism.. huge swaths of lands being destroyed, groundwater pollution, social pollution, drug dealing everywhere

When we become a nation of stoners, of welfare junkies, of losers, America will crumble

Whose going t have their finger on the button.. you stoner? I think not

Obama wants it this way.. a pacified stoned out population is much more complaint..

Drugs are evil and kill the soul mind and body... and in 20 years when we have large populations using MJ.. and disease comes forth and all the touted benefits wane... then we will see the full weight of its destructive force

Capt. Crunch @ 4/8/2013 7:20 PM

Does this mean we can smoke one on duty?

Ann @ 4/9/2013 6:20 AM

to Chuck @ 4/8/2013 5:25 PM ".... "lie to the fans, don't lie to the players." it has nothing to do with being "medical," you just like to get high." So you consider yourself a player? If "medicinal purposes" is BS, then why was the govt. issuing 30 joints a month LEGALLY to those who were seriously ill and Prescription drugs didn't work? Have you ever known someone (near & dear to you) that are so sick they can't eat without puking, can't stop craping from the "Legal Medicines" that not only kill the liver, can cause tumors, can cause heart attacks, blindness from blood vessels so over stressed they break and bleed into the eye? Have you ever suffered personally from the neuralgia that comes with the diabetes that their "Legal Medicine" cannot help? Have you ever suffered from the chronic pain of the ankle bone that has developed "sharko" (excuse the spelling) It's where the ankel bone is deteriorating and a special brace has to be used PERMANENTLY, in order to walk... Keep talking about stuff you don't know everything about Chuck - I hope you never have to suffer, or have someone close to you suffer, ANY ONE of these conditions! So, now you can go sit down and have another cold brew...

mtpgman @ 4/9/2013 6:48 AM

If you read the survey results, they interviewed an entire 1,501 people and call that a representative "national" survey. They did get a reasonable age range, but they didn't say anything about regions or demographics. They could have polled only in CA, MA, and CO and called that "national." Having worked for a company in a previous life that included a polling operation, you can obtain whatever survey results you want by asking the right people questions worded the right way.

chuck @ 4/9/2013 9:48 AM

Apparently ann you don't see or read or comprehend too well. if everyone touting the whole medical marijuana thing would have kept it so, there would most likely not have been all the issues and it would have not been so devisive. As it is the majority of those demanding the right to smoke marijuana "ARE NOT THOSE DESPERATELY NEEDING TO SMOKE MEDICAL MARIJUANA" nor are they "THE PERMANENTLY DISABLED OR TERMINALLY ILL" they are the freaking i just want to get high folks that have attached to, used and abused the whole medical marijauna issue. do you know how many people I run into that have medical marijuana cards for "stress," for "insomnia'" how many ninteen or twenty year old gang bangers i run into with medical marijuana cards for their terrible back pain (amazing how they can still run and jump fences though), or insomnia, or anger issues (hell, none of us can sleep and I am pretty damn angry right ablut now). Truth be told ann i really don't think any of those lying dope smoking medical marijuana abusing teenagers are not able to eat the food their working parents are providing, nor are they crapping themselves or are they in severe ankle deteriorating pain, they simply want to get stoned all the time and the medical community and liberal douche bags have turned what could have actually been something good for those that truely need the benefits of the "Medical Marijuana." if you are that sick, I really don't care with what or how you determine you want to treat yourself, and no i don't abuse or over indulge in "brews," and I have had my father die from terminal lung and pancreatic cancer because he smoked camel no filters his whole live and my grandmother died from stomach cancer. So ann, does that meant I win because my relatives were sicker than yours?

Corporal T.E./N.S.M. @ 4/9/2013 4:27 PM

The two biggest problems with marijuana is the loss of ambition and psychological dependency. Adolescents tend to begin to experiment with it far too young and its early-onset use tends to diminish their academic and extracurricular performance. Those who do manage to go on to college are setting themselves up for disaster because the sudden lack of parental supervision combined with underage access to alcohol, combined with a marijuana habit cultivated in high-school, results in more partying than studying, wasted tuition money and many failed freshmen never recover from a failed first-year of college to complete their higher education.

However, among responsible adults, marijuana has the advantage of imparting a more manageable state of intoxication than that of alcohol, the aftermath of which is a crippling hangover not experienced among marijuana smokers.

My only problem with the medical marijuana industry, as well-documented on M.S.N.B.C., is the insult-to-intelligence demonstrated by its proponents. When a "medical marijuana"dispensary is staffed by skinny white males with dreadlocks and hipster beanie caps, it's laughable to take seriously the claims that all participants are suffering from ailments that couldn't be addressed by a simple O.T.C. medication, a change in diet and exercise or some plain and simple by-ones-bootstraps gumption. One "Medical Marijuana" dispensary featured on M.S.N.B.C., based out of liberal elitist Denver, Colorado, has moved seamlessly into the recreational marijuana industry following the decriminalization of the drug in the 2012 Elections.

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