Gallup Poll: 58% Of Americans Want Marijuana Legalized

It is a common lament these days that we seem a hopelessly divided country on virtual every major issue from immigration to health care to climate change. The exception appears to be marijuana. Not only are record numbers of citizens reporting that they use pot, but a new Gallup poll puts support for legalization at 58%. That is up seven points from just one year ago. In addition to the public support, there appears increasing investments and tax revenues associated with marijuana sales. That combination could make it difficult for Congress or the next Administration to reverse this trend toward legalization.

Notably, according to another study, the number of adults who said that they have used marijuana sometime in the past year has doubled in the past decade. The number of Americans reporting the use of pot has grown to 9.5% of adults in 2013 as compared to 4.1% in 2001. With one out of ten citizens using pot, a renewed crackdown would face prohibition type opposition. The biggest increases came in the South and among women, African-Americans, and the middle-aged. The results are reported in a study in JAMA Psychiatry.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical marijuana use. The most interesting trend however is Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Oregon and the District of Columbia which have also legalized recreational use. California could follow suit and add a huge population under the legalization category.

With the rise of both marijuana use and public support growing, this could make for a precarious political issue for politicians in a presidential election year. Forget about the chicken in every pot, these citizens just want the pot.

Source: USA TodayPot

52 thoughts on “Gallup Poll: 58% Of Americans Want Marijuana Legalized”

  1. That “common lament” is really propaganda used over and over (by yourself included).

    greenwald wrote an article the illusion of choice in the american “democracy”

    Y’all out-of-touch folks in D.C. (politicians, lobbyists, judges, party bosses, tycoons, academics) agree on most of the criminal policies are state carries out.

    The majority in this D.C. elite (yes, JT is a part, he reps Congress) agree with war crimes and subsequent immunity for those who committed said war crimes. The majority also support vast inequality and an economy guided by Neoliberal policies.

    That’s much agreement for policies that have the greatest effects.

  2. People have been getting high forever. Fermented plants and grains, hallucinogenic plants. Little children (and Sufis) get high spinning around in circles. When ether became widely available, teens would gather and have parties where they took turns passing out–we’re talking about the early 1800’s.

    The main problem Americans have is that we must over-consume everything. We are the fattest in the world with obesity rates topping 35%. Alcoholism is still rampant in the U.S and we have addiction programs for just about anything you can name. Getting high once in a while represents minimal risk for the vast majority of pot users. Just as smoking a bowl of organic tobacco once a month or once every other month represents a minimal risk for lung cancer.

    But we have to smoke two packs a day, drink every day, get high every day. Americans consume 80% of the world’s pain pills, and we represent only 5% of the world’s population.

    The real issue is figuring out why Americans are so out of control so much of the time. There’s a problem worth solving. Meanwhile, legalize pot and let all the non-violent offenders out of prison.

  3. Freedom means self-reliance while the state addresses bad behavior.

    Slavery means the state provides subsistence and the state dictates behavior.

  4. On a more serious note, cannabis is believed to have many therapeutic compounds. It cannot be properly studied until it is legalized for medical use. I do not think it should be smoked if it’s being used for medicinal purposes, because burning most substances creates carcinogens and lung irritants. But there are other ways it can be taken.

    On the down side, it is being developed to be quite a bit stronger than it was in the 60’s. It is a mistake to make this helpful plan too strong, because of course then it would have more scope to be abused. And, of course, the “medicinal purposes” is stretched just as much for pot today as it was for alcohol during Prohibition.

    In the meantime, it’s cousin Hemp should absolutely be legalized. It cannot get you high, and has zero controversy as to its use. It is a high protein food, and can be used without the herbicides or pesticides cotton requires to make rope, fabric, paper . . . a whole myriad of uses.

    However, since it looks similar to pot, it is illegal to grow here. It would just be too hard for law enforcement to determine if a 100 acres of hemp might have some pot hidden inside. Hemp products are legal, however, so we import them from Canada and elsewhere.

  5. expat, I’m so sorry for your trouble. What your doc didn’t say was he/she don’t get free trips to the Caribbean from cannabis salesmen so they are not enthused about prescribing. Actually, I don’t know your doc, he/she may be just unable to prescribe. I have helped people in your situation. My email is Give me a headsup on the email so I know it’s safe to click onto it. There are all types of edibles and drinkables that could help you as a nonsmoker. I will do whatever I can to help a Jersey dude!

  6. I’m a Glaucoma patient. I have already been prescribed pills, eye drops, laser surgery, expert consults, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle changes to control my eye pressure, with little results. The only treatment I have not tried is marijuana. Why?

    My ophthalmologist has stated: “We (drs) know that marijuana reduces eye (IOC – intra-occular) pressure. But, I’m not allowed to prescribe it.”

    If it gets to the point where my vision is truly threatened, then I WILL try whatever ‘alternative’ medicine I feel will benefit me – laws be damned.

    All you anti-MJ do-gooders: if you start going blind, I guarantee you’ll change your tune, real quick.

    BTW, I am a non-smoker, and detest smoking anything, in any form.

  7. “I think it’s an error to compare marijuana and alcohol consumption. For alcohol, the vast majority of people who drink are doing so because the enjoy the taste. The intoxication is a side effect, and granted, for a huge number of people, the reason they drink. But it’s a side effect, and for most people, something they try to avoid.”

    Wait a minute, what? This made me laugh, but it looks like Nick beat me to it.
    They’re both “acquired tastes.” Actually, I think they’re pretty similar in that after you get used to the taste, you begin to like it and discern flavor differences you hadn’t noticed before.
    I wouldn’t call intoxication a side effect of booze, just as I wouldn’t call getting high a side effect of pot. Now the munchies and a distorted sense of time, those are side effects.

  8. wonderer, You may want to get some facts prior to pontificating. Think of your first taste of virtually any alcohol, the “taste” was repulsive. Particularly whiskey, gin, vodka, etc. Contrast that w/ cannabis. In cannabis stores the taste and aroma are used to market the product. Some of the aromas are right up there w/ sweet smelling pipe tobacco. But, let’s be intellectually honest, people consume booze and cannabis to alter their mood. There is nothing wrong w/ altering your mood. It’s all about moderation.

  9. I think it’s an error to compare marijuana and alcohol consumption. For alcohol, the vast majority of people who drink are doing so because the enjoy the taste. The intoxication is a side effect, and granted, for a huge number of people, the reason they drink. But it’s a side effect, and for most people, something they try to avoid.

    With marijuana, the mind altering effect is the whole reason to smoke or ingest.

    There’s been precious little medical research on marijuana and the totality of its effects on the human body of every age. There appear to be positives to consumption for pain, anxiety or loss of appetite – true medicinal uses. I’d support such research. Frankly, though, it disgusts me that advocates for legalization hide behind sick people to promote full legalization of their intended recreational use.

    Last, on the statistics of “users,” I’ve not seen the raw data or survey instrument, but I suspect that two reasons the percentages are increasing is that the WWII generation in which usage was rare is shrinking (dying). Also, there was a huge cohort of baby boomers who may have tried it back in college and haven’t touched it since. But they’re counted as having used it.

  10. Would 58% of the people want us to smoke cigarettes. Why is one good and not the other. I stopped smoking cigarettes back in 1982. Glad I did. Somehow I think that there is a down side to recreational use of pot. However I don’t think that I have any right to tell someone that they can’t smoke a joint. Federal government should decriminalize pot and let the states deal with it. I’ll sit it out. I’m just not interested in smoking this stuff.

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