A record-high 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46% last year. Forty-six percent say marijuana use should remain illegal.
When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12% of Americans favored 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.”
It has been made essentially legal here in California with the medicinal marijuana laws and the decriminalizing of personal possession. If you are caught tomorrow here with a small amount, you will be guilty of an infraction and have to pay a $100 fine.
Over the weekend, it was announced the California Medical Association called for the legalization of marijuana.
Eventually, in a generation or two, pot may be legalized, but like alcohol and tobacco there are problems with the drug. The voting public will have to weigh the negative effects of the inebriation versus the benefits of the high.
Here is a chart of the polling demograhics: