Marijuana: For the First Time, a Majority of Americans Say Legalize It
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For the first time in four decades, a majority of Americans say legalize it.
That's according to the latest Pew Research Center poll, which says 52 percent of us favor making marijuana legit. The Pew folks asked ...
... 1,501 American adults about their feelings on bud. The poll wasn't limited to registered voters, which might have produced more conservative results.
Still, that's a long way from 1969, when a Gallup poll found that 84 percent of Americans were opposed to legalization.
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, was happy with today's outcome, framing it as historic:
I've always tended to be cautious in claiming that we've hit the 'tipping point' on marijuana legalization. But we're there now.
Young adults, the so-called "millennials," favored legitimizing weed big-time: Those ages 18 to 32 said hell yes at a rate of 65 percent, according to Pew.
Baby boomers, those folks who were actually smoking the weed in 1969, have been reluctant in the past to fully support legalization (irony?). But now they're getting there.
Since 1994, the percentage of these oldsters saying yes to legal bud has doubled from 24 percent to 50 percent today, Pew says.
About 48 percent of us -- cough -- admit trying pot, according to the poll.
Decriminalization advocates, of course, were ecstatic about the poll's results. The group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition noted that 72 percent of Americans now say federal enforcement against weed crimes costs more than it's worth in terms of results.
LEAP director Neill Franklin:
You can only fight an unwinnable war for so long. It's time legislators caught up to their constituents in calling for an end to an unwise use of limited and valuable law enforcement resources.
Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority adds:
It's time for politicians to catch up to the voters on this issue. Not too long ago, it was widely accepted in political circles that elected officials who wanted to get re-elected needed to act 'tough' on drugs and go out of their way to support the continued criminalization of marijuana. The opposite is quickly becoming true. A majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, and you're going to start seeing more politicians running toward our movement instead of away from it, just as we've seen happen with marriage equality recently.