50% Of Americans Want To legalise Pot

Half of Americans want to legalise marijuana, Gallup reports.

That’s the highest percentage ever.

per cent Of Americans Who Want To legalise Pot

Photo: Gallup

And why not legalise it?

Legalizing pot will create a new multi-billion dollar (legal) industry and create tens of thousands of (legal) jobs.

And getting stoned is certainly no more disruptive to society than getting smashed, which millions of Americans do every day. And pot is no worse for you than cigarettes, which are actually addictive and kill millions of people around the world every year.

So by all means… Let’s have a ganja section in every supermarket.

Here’s Gallup:

PRINCETON, NJ — A record-high 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46% last year. 40-six per cent say marijuana use should remain illegal.

When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12% of Americans favoured it, while 84% were opposed. Support remained in the mid-20s in Gallup measures from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but has crept up since, passing 30% in 2000 and 40% in 2009 before reaching the 50% level in this year’s Oct. 6-9 annual Crime survey.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States.” The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009 found that “16.7 million Americans aged 12 or older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed, an increase over the rates reported in all years between 2002 and 2008.”

The advocacy group National organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws claims that marijuana is the third-most-popular recreational drug in America, behind only alcohol and tobacco. Some states have decriminalized marijuana’s use, some have made it legal for medicinal use, and some officials, including former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, have called for legalizing its use.

A Gallup survey last year found that 70% favoured making it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana in order to reduce pain and suffering. Americans have consistently been more likely to favour the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes than to favour its legalization generally.

Younger Americans Most in favour of Legalizing Marijuana

Support for legalizing marijuana is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62% approval among those 18 to 29 down to 31% among those 65 and older. Liberals are twice as likely as conservatives to favour legalizing marijuana. And Democrats and independents are more likely to be in favour than are Republicans.

More men than women support legalizing the drug. Those in the West and Midwest are more likely to favour it than those in the South.

Support for Legalizing Use of Marijuana, by Subgroup, October 2011

Bottom Line

Support for legalizing marijuana has been increasing over the past several years, rising to 50% today — the highest on record. If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation’s laws into compliance with the people’s wishes.

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