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Majority of Americans in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana, Survey Finds


The majority of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. The findings represent a shift in public opinion, particularly among young people, Reuters reports.

This is the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue that a majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according to the Pew Research Center. They found 52 percent of those surveyed favor legalization, while 45 percent oppose it.
The survey found young people are most likely to support legalization. Among Americans ages 18 and 32, the survey found 65 percent favor legalizing marijuana, up from 36 percent in 2008.

There has also been a shift in attitudes toward marijuana among Baby Boomers, the survey found. Half favor legalization, up from 17 percent in 1990.

Almost three-quarters of people surveyed said government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth, the article notes. The survey found 60 percent think the federal government should not enforce federal laws banning marijuana use in states where the drug is legal.

The survey found partisan differences in attitudes toward marijuana: 59 percent of Democrats favor legalization, compared with 37 percent of Republicans.

Tom Angell, Chairman of the advocacy group Marijuana Majority, told Reuters, “You’re going to start seeing more politicians running toward our movement instead of away from it, just as we’ve seen happen” with same-sex marriage.

3 Responses to this article

  1. doogiem / April 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    It remains a “no-brainer” similar to our public policies re gamling/casinos as well as pornography and alcohol: legalize it, regulate it, tax it; (and continue to) help people who develop problems/addictions.

  2. Ken Wolski / April 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Marijuana prohibition rests on a lie. The lie is that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, with no accepted medical uses in the U.S., and is unsafe for use even under medical supervision. As a Schedule I drug it is in the same class with heroin, a powerfully addictive and potentially deadly drug. Yet marijuana is about as addictive as caffeine and has never killed anyone. To keep marijuana in the same class with heroin–and with draconian penalties for possession, use and cultivation–is absurd. The emerging science of the Endocannabinoid System will not be denied, despite the best efforts of the federal government to deny access to marijuana in order to conduct research. The Internet enables people to do their own research. They are weighing the competing claims of the federal government against the emerging science that supports medical marijuana, and the science is winning.

  3. not over the hill / April 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Maybe if the true facts were given about the problems that marijuana causes, there wouldn’t be so many in favor of it. Of course the more you hear that this state and that state making it legal then the people feel that what’s the use, they’re going to make it legal anyway. Marijuana to me is a very dangerous drug that someday may produce some good medicine but if everyone is stoned on pot who will be smart enough to find it?

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