Poll: Clear majority support legalizing marijuana for the first time
October 22nd, 2013
03:21 PM ET
12 months ago

Poll: Clear majority support legalizing marijuana for the first time

(CNN) - More Americans think that marijuana should be legalized than those who want it kept illegal, according to a new poll.

According to the Gallup poll, 58% say that pot should be legalized, the first time in Gallup polling that a clear majority favor the move. Thirty-nine percent oppose legalization.

The 58% in favor of legalization is far removed from the 12% who said the same thing when Gallup first started asking in 1969, and it's up 10 percentage points since last November. The increase comes after a slight dip from when those supporting legalization first hit half the survey population, 50%, in 2011.

CNN's Sanjay Gupta: Why I changed my mind on weed

The survey attributes much of the pro-marijuana momentum to public referendums last year in Colorado and Washington state that made pot legal. Among those surveyed, 38% admitted to having tried the drug themselves.

Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Department of Justice will not seek to block the Colorado and Washington laws.

Federal enforcement of marijuana laws in the so-called "War on Drugs" has declined under the Obama administration. Justice has issued guidelines to federal prosecutors telling them to no longer pursue mandatory-minimum sentences against low-level nonviolent drug offenders.

Most support for legalization comes from Democrats, 65%, and Independents, 62%. About one in three Republicans, 35%, agreed. The younger the respondent, the more likely they were to favor legalization: 67% for 18 to 29 year-olds compared to 62% for those 30 to 49. and 56% for those between 50 and 64. Only those 65 and older reported less than half in favor of legalizing marijuana, at 45%.

The Gallup poll was conducted October 3-6, with 1,208 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.


Filed under: Polls
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Frank

    If you have ever taken a couple of bull hits off of a joint you know how LOADED you were and in a la la land! Higher tha a Giraffes ash, can you imagine over half our society in that state of mind 24/7? Half the nation walking around in a TRANCE! STONED!

    THAT'S NATION CATASTROPHE!

    October 22, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Dilip Samuels

    The TEA PARTY IS THE MODERN DAY KLU KLUX CLAN

    Racists to the core....little between their years

    Less educated !!!!

    But good news...the klan will win elections only in the mid west and deep south...the states that are struggling

    Absolutely on the money...the tea party is the klu klux clan

    October 22, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Stoners Throw

    Tax what?
    Its a weed, it grows like a weed, and will grow just about anywhere.
    Its not like tobacco, throw a few seed out back (used to use my neighbors backyard) and come back in a month, pull off the leaves/buds, dry it on the oven and have at it.
    Legalization will not bring in more tax revenue, it will result in an increase in home growers, junk-food profits, and introduce a nasty stench in most neighborhoods during growing season.

    October 22, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. tekstep1

    smith
    Wait a minute, don`t we hate smoking? Isn`t second hand smoke so awful? One joint is equal to one pack of cigs. with regards to damage to your body. Most pot out on the streets is full of mercury. I personally think pot is the same as drinking and smoking combined, but lets be honest.. pot is not some harmless drug that just makes giggle and eat junk food.

    -

    What have YOU been smoking? Where did you even get that 1 joint is equal to a pack of cigs? Its actually less harmful than cigarettes. Its the chemicals added to nicotine, particularly in the filters, that make them so dangerous. There are no such chemicals on weed, and no one sells any with chemicals on it, if they want to keep customers. The only mercury found in weed might come from the ground on which it grew, which is the same as saying there is mercury in corn; therefore, we shouldn't eat it.

    October 22, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Lenny Pincus

    Once again, if you don't like it, don't do it. Criminalizing it has been a worthless exercise–remember, it was legal/leegit for thousands of years until the forces of prohibition started one of their dumb dances a hundred years ago.

    October 22, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Frank

    If you have ever taken a couple of bull hits off of a joint you know how LOADED you were and in a la la land! Higher than a Giraffes a&^, can you imagine over half our society in that state of mind 24/7? Half the nation walking around in a TRANCE! STONED!

    THAT'S NATIONAL CATASTROPHE!

    October 22, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. philliesphan1975

    ok "smith" you clearly don't know ANYTHING about pot. Go read something about it that wasn't made by D.A.R.E or a government official with an agenda. "taxing the snot out of it" would be counter productive. That would result in people STILL buying it from the black market and thus keeping drug cartels in business. I'm not saying don't tax it. Just tax it at the same rate as alcohol. "forcing dopers to get dope smokers liability insurance"? Then we should force drinkers to get it too, people on prescription meds, all stimulants that can alter your reaction time in any way, people with diseases like diabetes because low blood sugar can make you feel lightheaded...what? Making fascist micro managing everyone's lives doesn't sound as nice when you really think about?

    October 22, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. philliesphan1975

    Making fascist rules that would micro manage...that is

    October 22, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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