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A Majority of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

For the first time since Gallup started asking Americans if marijuana should be legal, 50% say yes, while 46% say no. In addition, support for legalizing marijuana is directly and inversely proportional to age. Among 18 to 29 year olds, the percent who want it to be legal is 62%. For those 30 to 49 years old, the percentage is 56%. But among people 65 years or older, only 31% think it should be legal.

Note that we aren’t talking about decriminalizing marijuana — keeping it illegal but removing most penalties — this is full legalization. And 70% of Americans think it should be legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana to reduce pain and suffering.

We’ve spent over a trillion dollars on the (failed) war on drugs. Every 30 seconds, an American is arrested for violating a marijuana law, making it the fourth most common cause for arrest in the US. Wouldn’t we save a lot of money if we legalized marijuana?



  1. Cris Ericson wrote:

    Oct. 22 DEADLINE!
    Please! Hurry & click & sign petition to
    END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION at the White House now!

    This is a case sensitive link, upper case capitol P.

    President Obama is allowing Adults and kids age
    13 & up to sign!

    This is the 13th MARIJUANA petition and it is an
    UMBRELLA for all the others for pot, cannabis & hemp.

    “Demand an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to
    End Marijuana, Marihuana, Cannabis and Hemp PROHIBITION.”

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink
  2. Dan wrote:

    Wait a second… What happened to the 50-64 age group???
    I’m in that one.
    Just took a quick poll of the people in the room, 85% for legalizing pot!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
  3. Falkelord wrote:

    A friend of mine down here in Louisiana recently got broken into by police and charged with marijuana possession and intent to distribute (he had a little over a pound).

    I say “broken into” and not “searched” because he kept demanding a search warrant, and was told eventually “If you say the word ‘warrant’ one more time, we’re going to taze you right now”

    They then told him they would drop the charges to simple possession if he handed over the 2 grand he had stashed away in his house. Which he of course did. But what strikes me the most is that they actually followed through on their “promise”, which begs the question: how corrupt is this system?

    Everyone I know has smoked at least one time (mind you, I know several hundred college students) and it’s incredible how many people get away with it on a daily basis despite it being so illegal. I guess that’s how it was during prohibition. I’m all for the legalization of any substance someone wishes to put in their body; it’s not up to the government to regulate whether or not I want to kill myself by shooting up mass amounts of heroin. I know there has to be a fine line somewhere (such as not legalizing Oxycodone or any sort of pharmaceutical like that) but marijuana/hemp is useful for oil, paper, rope, recreation, and medicine. I just don’t understand why it has failed so many times to be decriminalized/legalized.

    As the wise scholar Katt Williams once said: “They want you to think weed is a drug. No it’s not, it was growed like that. And if you should so happen to set it on fire, there are some effects. But drugs you got to do shit to it chemically, add baking soda, water, stir it up, I don’t know the recipe, I’m just sayin…”

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Dan, info on the 50-64 age group is at the link. Or were you too stoned to click on it? 🙂

    Falkelord, believe it or not I have never used marijuana (or any other illegal drug) and have no intention of using them. But I totally agree that drugs should be legal. I don’t drink alcohol, smoke, or even drink coffee, and those ARE legal (as they should be, along with other drugs).

    Well, I do eat chocolate, but you gotta have some vices!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Permalink
  5. Jeff wrote:

    Marijuana, if used correctly and responsibly, is less inhibiting than alcohol. If it were legalized, think of how much money states could make from sales. You could sell permits to grow it, tax it at purchase like you do with cigarettes, and limit people’s use so they can’t drive or use in public. It would be a huge moneymaker, but for some reason people have got it into their heads that this is a bad thing.

    I think this is probably similar to what happened when prohibition was going on and then gotten rid of. People might have gone a bit crazy on the drink, and there are still alcoholics, but the majority of people drink responsibly. It started out being taboo and was protested by a lot of people, and now accepted as part of society.

    Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  6. I feel this would be a step in the right direction toward making Pot work to help our damaged economies. Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for the user as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects, and affects literally every organ in the body. Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds on reforming pot laws. I drew up a very cool poster for the cause which you can check out on my artist’s blog at Drop in and let me know what you think!

    Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  7. PatriotSgt wrote:

    But if you legalize pot, you’ll put all those dealers out of work and they’ll have to take real jobs because they won’t qualify for unemployment. 😉

    Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    so what you are saying is that legalizing marijuana would decrease unemployment in this country? 🙂

    Friday, October 21, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink