National Poll Shows 50% of Americans Support Making Marijuana Legal

Oct 18, 2011 , , , , , , , , ,

A new Gallup poll shows that 50% of voters nationwide answered “Yes” to the question, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” Only 46% of respondents answered “No.” This is the first time on record that more Americans support ending marijuana prohibition than support maintaining the status quo of arresting and prosecuting people for marijuana possession. Support for marijuana reform has been growing steadily over the last few decades, but this poll shows a 4% increase over last year, when Gallup asked respondents the same question.

Opinions were heavily divided by age, with support being strongest among 18-29 year olds (62%) and 30-49 year olds (56%). The results were also quite divided geographically, with the highest support coming from the West, Midwest, and East.

“This is an historic day in the decades-long war on marijuana. As of today, a majority of the American public believes the use of marijuana should be legal for adults,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “Moreover, it is clear from the levels of support among various age groups that support will only increase over time. None of this is surprising. Americans know that prohibition is a failed policy. It was true for alcohol, and it is true for marijuana, a substance far less harmful than alcohol. The American people are clearly saying it is time to stop arresting adults for using marijuana. Now it is time for our elected officials to listen to the public.”

This poll comes at an interesting time, with many states re-examining their marijuana laws and a series of bills sitting before Congress that would limit federal involvement in marijuana policy. Currently, the Obama administration is reversing its earlier stance of non-interference in medical marijuana states and is increasing efforts to shut down the medical marijuana industry in California and elsewhere, a move that experts say will drive medical marijuana patients into the criminal market to obtain their medicine. At the same time, several states, including Colorado, California, and Washington, are considering ballot initiatives that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

The poll, conducted October 6-9 by Gallup, surveyed 1,005 registered voters from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It is available for download at

4 responses to “National Poll Shows 50% of Americans Support Making Marijuana Legal”

  1. Driving people to look for cannabis (for whatever reasons) through a criminal market is a cruel game by law enforcements. From that point they are not concern with your safety or your family because marijuana is against federal law. The prohibitionist provided the risk by keeping it illegal.

  2. Well you can pat yourselves on the back for doing a wonderful job educating the public on MJ. It’s working obviously! Even after it’s legal, there will be years of retribution from the public towards politicians, DOJ and law makers in who started this crap in the first place and got away with it to the tune of how much money lost, how many lives ruined? I’m mad and I will never give an ounce of respect to those who made our lives hell for the past 74 years.

  3. the air we breath,the food we eat,the temperature outside,we need top alarm our country,we also need to show science that will prof people,how important is nature,and how far will it take us.starting with medicine marijuana,we also need to contact the floridian govermant,to tell them about the jobs it will produce and how our air will be alot more cleaner and healthier to save everybody money,and to keep our country well protected against bad weather and earth quakes.think who was here first,and how powerful could nature be.d

  4. My brother-in-law recenly died from Cancer and he could not obtain Medical Marijuana here in MS. MS State University grows MM but he was not able to get it. When will the powers to be allow the people to vote for Medical Marijuana? Go figure! I will fight to bring the right to us who need MM to be prescribed by doctors.
    When? How soon?

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