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October 22, 2013

Latest Gallup poll shows considerable spike upward in support for legalizing marijuana

Pot pollAs reported in this new Gallup page, headlined "For First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana: Support surged 10 percentage points in past year, to 58%," the latest polling data suggests that marijuana reform developments over the last year in a variety of state have had a pretty dramatic impact on public opinion concerning marijuana laws and policies.  Here are the basic details via the folks at Gallup:

For marijuana advocates, the last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented success as Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. And now for the first time, a clear majority of Americans (58%) say the drug should be legalized. This is in sharp contrast to the time Gallup first asked the question in 1969, when only 12% favored legalization.

Public support for legalization more than doubled in the 1970s, growing to 28%. It then plateaued during the 1980s and 1990s before inching steadily higher since 2000, reaching 50% in 2011. A sizable percentage of Americans (38%) this year admitted to having tried the drug, which may be a contributing factor to greater acceptance.

Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans' tolerance for marijuana legalization. Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating. Last week, California's second-highest elected official, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said that pot should be legal in the Golden State, and advocates of legalization are poised to introduce a statewide referendum in 2014 to legalize the drug....

Independents' growing support for legalization has mostly driven the jump in Americans' overall support. Sixty-two percent of independents now favor legalization, up 12 points from November 2012. Support for legalization among Democrats and Republicans saw little change. Yet there is a marked divide between Republicans, who still oppose legalizing marijuana, and Democrats and independents.

Americans 65 and older are the only age group that still opposes legalizing marijuana. Still, support among this group has jumped 14 percentage points since 2011. In contrast, 67% of Americans aged 18 to 29 back legalization. Clear majorities of Americans aged 30 to 64 also favor legalization....

Whatever the reasons for Americans' greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States. Advocates of legalizing marijuana say taxing and regulating the drug could be financially beneficial to states and municipalities nationwide. But detractors such as law enforcement and substance abuse professionals have cited health risks including an increased heart rate, and respiratory and memory problems.

With Americans' support for legalization quadrupling since 1969, and localities on the East Coast such as Portland, Maine, considering a symbolic referendum to legalize marijuana, it is clear that interest in this drug and these issues will remain elevated in the foreseeable future.

Cross-posted at Marijuana Law, Policy and Reform

October 22, 2013 at 05:43 PM | Permalink

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Comments

All human activities and remedies have a dose response curve. Even excessive devotion to prayer can have adverse effects. There are people prone to addiction. There are people with extra sensitivity. So the objections of the prohibitionists apply to all human consumption.

The solution is the Adult Pleasure License. It allows adults their adult pleasures, and ends consumption when it starts to do damage. This is not a government make work program, since it ends the destructive effects of addictions. Ending addiction would add several points to our economic growth and drop crime by a half.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 22, 2013 6:48:13 PM

"...the Adult Pleasure License"

Great balls of fire!!!! I want one of those, when and where can I get one of those suckers??????

Posted by: Jack Flash | Oct 22, 2013 7:43:57 PM

Jack: The APL says, leave the adults alone until they do damage. Gambling, substances, prostitution, overeating, the works. Show the license at the liquor store. The record has to be destroyed after a month. The inspectors insuring the confidentiality and immunization of the record from law enforcement would have to get private pay, and have tort liability for any failure. They would have the power of shoot to kill if any police seeks to invade the records.

Any supplier who supplies an unlicensed person has full accomplice liability, including a summary death penalty for vehicular homicide. We kill the bar tender first. Then the driver second, minutes after the verdict is read. Shoot the heads of both in the basement of the court. Harvest their viable organs so they may redeem themselves a little.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 22, 2013 8:52:51 PM

What would Nate Silver say about this poll??

Posted by: Juck Blander | Oct 22, 2013 9:39:11 PM

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