Reason-Rupe Poll: Most Americans Support Treating Marijuana Like Alcohol, Federal Non-interference

A national poll released this week by Reason Magazine found that a majority of adults want to see marijuana reform, and that they want the federal government to respect state laws concerning marijuana.

Some highlights, courtesy of Katie Hooks:

- 72 percent of Americans say the federal government should not arrest marijuana users in states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized the drug.

- 68 percent of Americans say the federal government should not arrest marijuana growers in states that have legalized the drug.

- 64 percent say the federal government should not arrest marijuana sellers in states that have legalized the drug.

- 53 percent say they agree with the statement that “marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol.”

- 49 percent say they oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use and 47 percent support legalizing it. That finding is within the poll’s margin of error, which is plus or minus 3.8 percent.

It is important to note the discrepancy in these last two results. Often times, when people hear the word “legalize,” they assume that this means making marijuana legal with no regulations or systems in place to govern the distribution and use of the substance. This could easily explain why more respondents agree with treating marijuana like alcohol than with “legalizing marijuana.” Fortunately, every serious effort to make marijuana legal in states around the country has been careful to include provisions that would establish a well-regulated cultivation and distribution system.

7 thoughts on “Reason-Rupe Poll: Most Americans Support Treating Marijuana Like Alcohol, Federal Non-interference”

  1. I wonder if all of those who agree that marijuana should be treated like alcohol understand what that really means. To me, it means adults should be able to buy varieties of marijuana at reasonable prices anyplace they can buy alcohol, but I’ll bet a lot of people who say “yes” to the survey would balk at having it available at every corner market. There is still residual belief that marijuana needs special treatment, even if legal. This includes onerous taxation, restrictions on home-growing and overly-cautious security requirements for commercial producers and retailers…conditions that would be considered unnecessary for alcohol even though it’s dramatically more harmful to users.

  2. I BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS MADE THIS PLANT FOR A GOOD REASON JUST AS HE HAS MADE MANY OTHERS. IT SHOULD BE LEGAL AND AS WITH OTHERS USED PROPERLY AND WITH CAUTION AND WITH YOUR DOCTORS KNOWLEGDE. WE ALREADY KNOW HOW VALUEABLE IT IS FOR OTHER USES OTHER THAN MEDICAL AND FOR THOSE WHO ENJOY A “SOCIAL HIGH”. THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ALL USE ALCOHOL…. HONESTLY, I BELIEVE THERE IS MORE HARM IN ALCOHOL THEN IN POT SMOKING. I NEVER HEARD OF SOMEONE GOING THUR A RED LIGHT AFTER SMOKING POT. I HAVE HEARD OF MANY, MANY CAR ACCIDENTS OF PEOPLE CONCERNING DWI’S!!! LONG TERM ACOHOL ABUSE CAN VARY. EXAMPLES, LIVER , HEART, DIABETIES I AM NOT AN EXPERT BUT I AM SURE THAT THERE IS A HELL OF ALOT MORE. LETS NOT FORGET ABOUT THE PHYSICAL AND VERBAL ABUSE FROM ALCOHOL!! MANY PEOPLE HAD TO LIVE THUR IT. MAYBE THEY LOSE SOMEONE WAY TO YOUNG DUE TO ALCOHOLISM. FORGET ALCOHOL….GET POT LEAGALISED….SAFERTHAN DRINKING PULSE GOOD FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT AND GREAT FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND SO MUCH MORE. OTHER COUNTRIES ARE AHEAD OF THE U.S.A.? HOW …WHY?

  3. I BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS MADE THIS PLANT FOR A GOOD REASON JUST AS HE HAS MADE MANY OTHERS. IT SHOULD BE LEGAL AND AS WITH OTHERS USED PROPERLY AND WITH CAUTION AND WITH YOUR DOCTORS KNOWLEGDE. WE ALREADY KNOW HOW VALUEABLE IT IS FOR OTHER USES OTHER THAN MEDICAL AND FOR THOSE WHO ENJOY A “SOCIAL HIGH”. THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ALL USE ALCOHOL…. HONESTLY, I BELIEVE THERE IS MORE HARM IN ALCOHOL THEN IN POT SMOKING. I NEVER HEARD OF SOMEONE GOING THUR A RED LIGHT AFTER SMOKING POT. I HAVE HEARD OF MANY, MANY CAR ACCIDENTS OF PEOPLE CONCERNING DWI’S!!! LONG TERM ACOHOL ABUSE CAN VARY. EXAMPLES, LIVER , HEART, DIABETIES I AM NOT AN EXPERT BUT I AM SURE THAT THERE IS A HELL OF ALOT MORE. LETS NOT FORGET ABOUT THE PHYSICAL AND VERBAL ABUSE FROM ALCOHOL!! MANY PEOPLE HAD TO LIVE THUR IT. MAYBE THEY LOSE SOMEONE WAY TO YOUNG DUE TO ALCOHOLISM. FORGET ALCOHOL….GET POT LEAGALISED….SAFERTHAN DRINKING PULSE GOOD FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT AND GREAT FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND SO MUCH MORE. OTHER COUNTRIES ARE AHEAD OF THE U.S.A.? HOW …WHY? I AM A GRANDMA OF THREE. I REALLY DO FOLLOW THE LAWS. I TRY. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE SMOKE SHOPS ARE SELLING….AND THEY DON’T HELP MY PAIN…. THE DEALERS…. WELL LORD KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE PUTTING INTO THE STUFF!!! WE ARE BUYING TO HELP OUR SUFFERING WITH BLINDERS ON!! PLUS WE BOTH CAN GO TO JAIL! CAN YOU SEE IT NOW? GRANNY OF THREE GOES TO JAIL B/C SHE HAS CHRONIC PAIN…ONLY GETS RELIEF FROM POT… CAN’T/WON’T TAKE ADDICTIVE DRUGS THAT DOCTORS WANT HER TO TAKE, B/C THEY ARE LEGAL!!!

  4. legalize it, cultivate it, go green. Everyone can benefit. law enforcement can still arrest people, but the racial profiling has to cease. the reason i say that is because pot is not as harmful as alcohol. there can be new laws set into place. for instance. dont drive and smoke, have designated smoking areas for adults to use this harmless herb responsibly. it can be an incredible economy booster cannibas can be used for clothing, fuel, pretty much everything our society is based on. the war on drugs is a useless war. they throw millions of dollars away on this war, just to lock innocent people up, when marijuana is not a drug. Instead they would rather shove medication and pills down our throats, just to boost the pharmaceutic industry.

  5. Hello everybody, from Hidden Hills, California I want to mention, I enjoyed this article. However, it is funny how I ended up on your article. I searched for prices for a party bus on Google and ended up on your website. I must say I do like your site and will check back soon. But I need to find the limo I was originally looking for first. Have a great day! Farewell.

  6. And there we go with the scary “L-word” (Legalize) … which prohibitionists have given what Edward Bernays called a “bad name”.

    It is harder for people to be for/b> some unknown scary Legalization. Yes yes – this ought not to be, But it is. And accounts for the above mentioned “discrepancy”.

    On the other hand, it is easier for people to be against a concrete “prison” for pot smokers.

    So (if you want to convince people) make sure to let people be against jailing people for marijuana — instead of asking them to be for “Legalization” or “Legalizing” etc.

  7. The movement to repeal the federal and state prohibitions of cannabis MUST ABANDON the analogy to alcoholic beverage regulation. It is a false analogy.

    The Pew poll found 72% don’t think the cost of enforcement is worth it, but the cost of enforcing “a well-regulated cultivation and distribution system” such as that in WA or CO has two obvious downsides. The enforcement savings repeal of prohibition without special regulations/taxes would garner will be lost as enforcement of special regulations/taxes and the suppression of a continuing black market will cost just as much; and, will result in the cost of a ‘legal’ ounce in a “well regulated cultivation and distribution system” (even where adults are permitted as in CO to grow their own modest number of plants and give some away) will be at such levels as to encourage the existence of a black market. All the while those with the CAPITAL to comply with the regulations win and the consumer loses.

    Before marijuana was first regulated last century it was as free from regulation as thyme and coming as close to that idyllic era must be the goal.

    A close look at the Pew poll and others including those focused on individual states, reveals that the primary resistance comes from those who fear “legalization” will increase THE AVAILABILITY OF MARIJUANA TO CHILDREN. This leads me to conclude that a majority in the states already inclined toward rational marijuana laws will accept less restrictive regulations than those adopted in WA and CO and that means in my opinion that the only ‘regulation’ needed that does not already apply to thyme is to make it a crime for:

    (a) Any person not the parent or guardian of a person under the age of twenty-one who knowingly distributes or dispenses marijuana to a person under the age of twenty-one or employs, causes, induces or abets a person under the age of twenty-one to cultivate, distribute, dispense or possess with the intent to distribute or dispense cannabis or marijuana as defined herein, shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two years or by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars, or both such fine and imprisonment.

    (b) Any person convicted of violating this section after one or more prior convictions or of any offense of any other jurisdiction, federal, state, or territorial, which is the same as or necessarily includes the elements of said offense shall be punished by a term of imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not less than one nor more than two and one-half years, or by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars, or both such fine and imprisonment.

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