Marijuana legalization has reached 58% support, according to the most recent Gallup poll. PHOTO: Reuters
Support for marijuana legalization has reached an incredible 58% nationwide, according to the most recent poll from Gallup. Gallup has been asking Americans whether they support legalizing marijuana for 40 years, and this is by far the highest support has gone in that time. The previous high was 50% in 2011, then 48% in 2012.
The abrupt jump may signal that this poll is an outlier, but if it is, it’s not by much. Support for marijuana legalization is as high as it’s ever been in America. A recent pew poll found that 52% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. Whatever the real number is, marijuana legalization seems to have won over a solid majority of Americans.
Successful legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington State helped mainstream marijuana legalization. Oregon, Alaska and California are three states that are likely to consider legalizing marijuana soon. Both Oregon and California have tried recently and failed, but advocates believe that they can be successful in those states and more in 2014 or 2016.
Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol. It impairs one’s ability to drive but not to the degree that alcohol does. It makes people act weird, but not violently, the way alcohol can. Combine that with the massive resources the U.S. spends failing at the War on Drugs, and succeeding at incarcerating black men for drug offenses (though not white people, who use marijuana at the same rate), and you have a recipe for support for marijuana legalization.
It’s about time, too.