Poll: Clear majority support legalizing marijuana for the first time
October 22nd, 2013
03:21 PM ET
6 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. LOL

    It is about time, legalize it already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 22, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Well then...clearly, with their newfound love of all things majority, this means that the GOP/Teatrolls will be all about legalizing it now, right? It'll be their next order of business in the House, no?

    October 22, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    This nonsensical war on drugs is a failure!!! Marijuana is safer than alcohol yet alcohol is legal. The only reason weed is illegal is so police can have young minorities to arrest and fill up their jails.

    October 22, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. anonymous

    Why not? The liberals and the Democrats have destroyed the country and its future. We might as well all get stoned and party hard right until the country hits rock bottom. Being responsible, accountable and productive is just soooo last century. We all just need to get on the leftist take it all now and spend it bandwagon. Screw the future, that is for somebody else to worry about.

    October 22, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Horace B.

    Legal will be good for the country because it really doesn't affect anything but your short term memory.

    October 22, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Larry in Houston

    I've got 4 gals working for me.....As long as they come into work sober / and Not High, I really don't care what they do on their own time. One of these days, it's going to very difficult for employers to find somebody that doesn't have something in their hair, y'know. You can detect it, in one's hair, if it was checked out...... even if one has been "clean" for a month, sometimes more. IF someone wants to get drunk on the weekend, and they come into work on Monday morning sober, and can perform their work duties, like they are supposed to, it doesn't matter to me.

    October 22, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Searcher

    The TIMES they are a CHANGING!

    October 22, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    We need NY to legalize it!! Ive been in the precinct too many times because of $20 worth of pot!

    October 22, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. ED1

    Just what the current leadership wants living in a blue haze and dependent of the Government for their money or our tax dollars to keep them in line.

    Very sad state our Country is in and no not what the majority of the people out ther want just what the liberal polls asked they sure didn't ask me.

    October 22, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. H

    so about 6 times more popular than the U.S congress?

    October 22, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Name michael

    Please legalize marijunia

    October 22, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Rocco

    ED1 stop living in the dark ages, and quit blaming liberals for everything. And yes it's what the majority wants – just because you disagree for some asinine reason doesn't make you the majority.

    Most people see pot for what it really is – a relaxing herb that does not cause heart attacks like coke or violence like alcohol. It causes sitting on the couch and watching Family Guy

    October 22, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Paul

    Ok all you crazy right wing folks using this to bash liberals. For the record I have known and do know many professional people of all political backgrounds who do what they do and are productive contirbuting members of society. This is not a political issue of left vs right.

    October 22, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. hempista

    There are those in the Tea Party, mainstream Republican, left Democrat, Green, Libertarian and every other political party that use cannabis and/or think the war on drugs causes more problems than it solves. Cannabis truly unites people across political boundaries.

    October 22, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Wake up People!

    Damn you Fox-lite. I take the time to type a thoughtful post and you just zap it. It was all true.

    October 22, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. spamthejabroni

    @ ED1

    WAAA WAAAA, cry us a river because nobody asked your opinion on an issue for which you have no standing. scary liberals in a blue haze .... seriously are you high?

    October 22, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -Sniffit

    Well then...clearly, with their newfound love of all things majority, this means that the GOP/Teatrolls will be all about legalizing it now, right? It'll be their next order of business in the House, no?
    *****************
    It might improve their cognitive skills; anything is worth a shot. Besides, wouldn't it be a hoot to see Cruz stoned, eating real green eggs and ham?

    October 22, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Whatever happened to NORML? Did they burn out?

    October 22, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. O'drama ya Mama

    ED1

    Just what the current leadership wants living in a blue haze and dependent of the Government for their money or our tax dollars to keep them in line.

    Very sad state our Country is in and no not what the majority of the people out ther want just what the liberal polls asked they sure didn't ask me.
    October 22, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    They didnt ask me either but I would have said it should be legalized. Its funny that in the last few days the only poll Republicans will say is accurate is the one about the issues with healthcare.gov. 74% disapproval rating for GOP? Nah must be a liberal poll. 3/4ths of the nation wants to remove Republicans from Congress? Nah that must be a liberal poll. Double Standards are not appreciated

    October 22, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Silence DoGood

    @anonymous
    "Why not? The liberals and the Democrats have destroyed the country and its future. ...... Being responsible, accountable and productive is just soooo last century. "

    What happened to all the conservative libertarians telling us we have too many laws? I thought you get to show " Being responsible, accountable and productive" when there is NOT a law regulating you.

    I love to see conservatives heads spin.

    October 22, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Every generation had their slang for smoking marijuana. I fall between "cutting grass" and "smoking pot".

    October 22, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Tom

    Count me in on legalization. Makes no sense how pot is illegal.

    October 22, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I don't smoke pot but I don't think it should be a crime to smoke it. Booze is far worse than pot. How many alcohol traffic accidents and domestic violence calls do the police have to respond to each year?

    October 22, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Wake up People!

    Good one Sniffit!!

    October 22, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Wake up People!

    If they do legalize it how on earth would they make their quota of arresting young black males???

    October 22, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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