Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Majority Support For Legalization Confirmed In Gold-Standard Survey

By David Downs
Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 11:42 AM

The Washington Post reports today on the results of the “gold-standard” biennial General Social Survey. It finds that national support for cannabis legalization rose sharply in 2014 to a historic 52 percent, up from a low of 16 percent in 1990.

The survey results confirm other recent polls that also found majority support for ending the war on marijuana — which results in roughly 700,000 arrests per year. Those arrests are racially biased, the ACLU found. An investigation by the Associated Press concluded that the generations-old effort to deter cannabis use through arrest and prison is a failed experiment.

Survey conductors asked 1,687 respondents in March 2014 and October 2014: "Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not?" Fifty-two percent supported it, 42 percent opposed it, and 7 percent were undecided. Support has risen 9 percentage points since 2012.

Cannabis is all but legal in the United States, and exists as arguably the most unregulated, untaxed agricultural product in the world. A daily smoker can statistically expect to get caught for pot about once every ten years, RAND researchers have reported. For decades, high school students have reported easy or very easy access to the type of weed, which grows easily and lacks licensed retailers.

click to enlarge A new poll confirms the majority of Americans want to end marijuana prohibition. Above, legal cannabis growing in Denver. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • A new poll confirms the majority of Americans want to end marijuana prohibition. Above, legal cannabis growing in Denver.

Legalization advocates at the Marijuana Policy Project cheered the survey results.

“Americans are tired of laws that punish adults for using a substance that is undeniably safer than alcohol," stated MPP communications manager Morgan Fox, in a release. "Hopefully their elected officials are paying attention and preparing for the inevitable. The failures of marijuana prohibition are too obvious to ignore forever, which is evidenced by the growing support for ending it.

“Marijuana has been a relatively prominent part of American culture for decades, and that’s never going to change. Either we continue to force it into the underground market or we start regulating it and treating it like other products that are legal for adults. Federal and state officials who are clinging to marijuana prohibition need to get over it and allow society to move forward.”


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