Gallup poll: 58% of Americans support legal weed

The illegality of marijuana has enriched, empowered, and corrupted prison systems, police departments, local and national governments, militaries, liquor manufacturers, and intelligence agencies (not to mention criminal organizations). It has also branded hundreds of thousands of people (mostly minorities) as criminals, ruining their lives and the lives of their families. Despite a century-long propaganda campaign defending the destructive war on drugs, a recent Gallup poll shows that 58% of Americans favor legalizing it.

Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans' tolerance for marijuana legalization. Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating. Last week, California's second-highest elected official, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said that pot should be legal in the Golden State, and advocates of legalization are poised to introduce a statewide referendum in 2014 to legalize the drug.

The Obama administration has also been flexible on the matter. Despite maintaining the government's firm opposition to legalizing marijuana under federal law, in late August Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced the Justice Department would not challenge the legality of Colorado's and Washington's successful referendums, provided that those states maintain strict rules regarding the drug's sale and distribution.

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  1. Marijuana is a strange cultural entity. I can't think of anything else that is so widely accepted in most of society, portrayed positively in numerous movies and tv shows, and has legitimate medical applications, and yet carries such massive Federal penalties, with long jail sentences and property seizures.

    Alcohol and cigarettes are as detrimental to the public health, if not more so, than marijuana, yet both of those are legally accepted substances.

    The only reason that I can see that marijuana is not legalized is that it is much easier to produce than beer, and it would be harder to regulate as a result.

    Edit: Ok, If homebrewing is easier, I guess the only reason would be that all the money and property that gets seized is more lucrative for the government than the taxes that could be raised by selling it leagally? (And if thats not true, then I give up) smile

  2. A subsequent Gallup poll showed that 99% of politicians don't give a rat's patootey.

  3. 58% are ok with legalization but that doesn't say how strongly they feel about it. I think legalization would be a good thing but I wouldn't automatically support a politician just because they supported legalization. There are many other issues I consider more important when determining who to vote for.

    As odd as it sounds, in my career field I find lots of self-described libertarians who are all for legalizing pot but are strongly against marriage equality. Given a choice between the two, I'd rather my gay friends have equality than my 420 friends being able to blaze up. Ideally they'd both win and have freedoms that should belong to all. But all too often we don't get to choose "All of the above". Because of this, the percentage of those who are for legalization isn't the only important factor. The strength of individual support is highly important too.

  4. In the same career field, one thing I'm hoping for is that big companies will stop feeling the need to test their employees for the only drug that shows up for more than a few days. It might well take a while, though, even in states where it's legal.

    Any libertarian who's opposed to marriage equality can go fuck themselves. The level of hypocrisy that the self-righteous can aspire to is totally mind-boggling.

  5. All drugs should be legal. From Cannabis to Cocaine, Krokodil to Bath salts. The government has no business dictating what you can and cannot put in your body.

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