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Since Marijuana Was Legalized, No Poll Has Supported Prohibition

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Since Marijuana Was Legalized, No Poll Has Supported Prohibition

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Another 4/20, another poll. This one from CBS News is the latest national poll in the past two years at 59 percent or higher support for marijuana legalization.

Legalization Polls 1969-2018 with Data Table
Legalization Polls 2001-2018 with Data Table

In addition:

  • 61 percent of Americans think marijuana policy is best handled by the states, not the feds.
  • 63 percent believe that marijuana is not as harmful as other drugs.
  • 51 percent believe marijuana is safer than alcohol, with another 28 percent who think it’s a tie.
  • 67 percent believe marijuana isn’t a gateway to harder drug use or reduces it.
  • 71 percent believe marijuana legalization doesn’t affect crime or reduces it.
Legalization Polls 1969-2018
Legalization Polls 2001-2018

Since the vote was held that first legalized marijuana in the states of Colorado and Washington, there have been 48 national polls asking a form of the question, “should marijuana be legal for adults.”

Forty-one of those polls have shown support for legalization, with 35 of those a clear majority in support.

Legalization Polls 2012-2018
Legalization Polls 2012-2018

Not one poll since November 2012 has shown majority opposition to legalization.

Since the second vote was held that legalized marijuana in Oregon and Alaska, every US poll has supported marijuana legalization.

Legalization Polls 2014-2018
Legalization Polls 2014-2018

Since the most recent vote was held that legalized marijuana in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, the average national poll support has been 59 percent (nine polls so far).

With 3-in-5 Americans supporting legalization and 2-in-5 currently experiencing it, this 4/20/2018 will mark the day when marijuana prohibition threw on the leather jacket, strapped on the water skis, and finally jumped the shark.

Legalization Polls 1969-2018 (Simple)
Legalization Polls 1969-2018 (Simple)

While it’s refreshing to see Senators and Congresspeople falling over each other to be the next to support marijuana reform, major corporations invoking 4/20 to help sell their products, and every media outlet offering some sort of stoner holiday story, it’s a bit galling knowing that thousands of mostly-black-and-brown mostly-men are observing the same phenomenon from behind bars, where they are doing time for what we no longer seem to think are crimes.

The tax revenue is nice. The jobs are nice. The end to arrests is wonderful. But unless you’re coming to the table with legislation that releases the pot prisoners, expunges our criminal records, and, for some of you, an apology for fighting so hard and so long to maintain marijuana prohibition, your “evolution” on the issue rings hollow, your products aren’t worth purchasing, and your years of pot-pun headlines are not forgotten.

Legalization Polls 1969-2018
Legalization Polls 1969-2018

Still, it’s a great time for 4:20 on 4/20. I had predicted weed would be federally descheduled toward the end of Hillary Clinton’s first term, as Democrats sought to secure young, progressive voters for a re-election bid. It’s beginning to look like I was two years too pessimistic, picked the wrong party, but was dead right about the electoral motivations.

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