Support For Marijuana Prohibition Is Down To 37 Percent
Three states — Arizona, California, and Maine — have begun voting on initiatives to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use; Massachusetts and Nevada to begin voting on similar measures next week
A new poll released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center shows a growing majority of Americans support ending marijuana prohibition. The national survey of more than 1,200 U.S. adults found 57 percent think the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 53 percent last year and 32 percent in 2006. Just 37 percent think it should remain illegal, down from 44 percent last year and 60 pecent in 2006.The news comes just as voters in three states have begun to vote on ballot initiatives to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. Early voting begins in Arizona Wednesday, and it began in Maine and counties throughout California earlier this week. Massachusetts and Nevada will begin voting on similar measures next week.
“Marijuana prohibition laws were founded upon misinformation, so it comes as little surprise that support for them is now eroding so quickly,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “There is more credible information out there than ever before, and it has become increasingly accessible over the past decade.
“As people learn that marijuana is not as dangerous as they were once led to believe, they tend to be supportive of taking a new approach,” Tvert said. “Now that they know this substance is actually less harmful than alcohol, they want to see it treated that way.
“Voters from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine are standing up and saying enough is enough,” Tvert said. “States around the country are rolling back prohibition laws and adopting more sensible marijuana policies. It would be nice if the Congress would pick up the pace at the federal level, but in the meantime the states will just have to continue to take the lead.”
“It’s more clear than ever which way the country is moving on marijuana,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. “Legalization is polling much better than either Presidential candidate, and politicians should do more to appeal to this growing constituency.
“No matter what happens in November, we know that a growing majority of Americans support ending cannabis prohibition, and the next president and Congress need to make it a priority to finally end outdated federal prohibition laws that stand in the way of full and effective implementation of state policies,” Angell said.