Medical Marijuana

CBS Poll: Yes to Medical Marijuana, But What We Have Now Isn't So Medicinal


The October Gallup poll which showed 51 percent of people in support of legalizing marijuana — the first time that was a majority opinion — was big news. A CBS News poll from late October shows only 40 percent of respondents in favor of pure marijuana legalization — with 51 percent saying no to legalization. CBS has been asking the question since 1979, when only 27 percent of folks were for legalization. The last two years have been more or less steady at 40 percent, though there was a high of 44 back in March 2010.

However, 77 percent of respondents are currently in favor of medical marijuana.

Broken down, some unsurprising things pop out of the results; Republicans are less in favor of legalization than Democrats who are more cautious still than Independents; the older you are, the less likely you are to favor legalization. Something more surprising is that apparently respondents are like the Department of Justice when it comes to skepticism about buyers of medical pot:

Just 31 percent of Americans think marijuana purchased under [medical marijuana] programs is being used to alleviate suffering from serious medical illnesses. More than half—52 percent—think it is being used for other reasons, including four in 10 of those who think marijuana should be legal in general.

In more detail, the poll reveals:

• Most women (54%) oppose legalizing marijuana, but men are divided: 46% of men favor legalizing it, while 47% oppose.

• Regionally, support for legalizing marijuana is strongest in the West, a region that includes 10 of the 16 states that have some form of legalized medical marijuana use. 48% of Americans in western states think marijuana use should be legal compared to 45% who think it should not be.

Reason on marijuana and medical marijuana.

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  1. some unsurprisingly things pop out

    Is this a reference to Warty? He often pops out unsurprisingly things.

    1. Broken down, some unsurprisingly things pop out … Something more surprisingly is that …


    2. He often pops out unsurprisingly things.

      What, like Rocks?

  2. If you don’t like marijuana, then don’t use it.

  3. How quickly people forget that smoking the mary jane funded 9/11. And half of the country apparently likes the idea of droves of pregnant teens. Welcome to Obama’s America, I guess.

    1. Bin Laden’s fortune came from his father’s construction conglomerate. Marijuana sales really didn’t figure into the equation.

      As for pregnant teens, I’ll just point out that the Netherlands, with its abundance of retail marijuana shops, has one of the lowest teen birth rates in the world, with 5 births per 1000 girls aged 15-19. The US, with its far more stringent marijuana laws, has a rate of 53 births per 1000.

      You should really try to find some facts to support your beliefs.

    2. Illegal drug sale fund drug gangs. At best, a small portion of those funds go to Islamic terrorists, but it is a moot point, because drug gangs also commit terrorism. Buying illegal drugs is immoral, but legalizing drugs is patriotic. Legalizing drugs would allow law abiding entrepreneurs into the market and destroy the profit margins of organized crime syndicates.

    3. Excellent work, FoE.

  4. Keep it illegal. As a mid size grower in Texas, I might have to stop getting high and get a real job if it was legal.

    1. Rick Perry knows who you are and he WILL find you!

  5. Most women (54%) oppose legalizing marijuana, but men are divided: 46% of men favor legalizing it, while 47% oppose.

    I’d like to see the numbers on how many of those 54% of women opposed to legalization smoke weed.

    1. I’m really confused as to how (100%-54%) = 46%, maximally, and 46% average out to 51%.

      1. The margin of error on most polls is + or – a few percentage points. Welcome to the math of statistics, where 2 + 2 = 5, but only for very large values of 2.

  6. Lucy:

    “some unsurprisingly things”

    Is this a word processor stutter or are you illiterate?

    1. Yes.

    2. False dichotomy anonymous dickhead.

      1. Not a dichotomy at all, just offering two options among many. Having suffered many a word processor stutter myself (usually having to do with cut-and-paste), I always like to give the author of such an error the opportunity to explain herself. Ms Steigerwald has done so with self-effacing wit and subtlety (though following along your line of thought she seems to have impaled herself on both horns of that particular dilemma). Relax, take a [whatever kind of pill people with czech email addresses take] and try to be happy. I remain, your Anonymous Dickhead,

        The Man

    1. Hallelujah! At this rate, by the time I’m 96, I’ll be able to toke in peace.

  7. Prohibition is a waste of police resources in my opinion. Growing, possessing, and using marijuana is a civil liberty in a free society. People should not have to justify their civil liberties to the government. Regardless of how you feel about local law enforcement cracking down on marijuana. I hope we can all agree that it should be a state level decision and not a federal prohibition. Here’s how we can end the federal prohibition and restore power to the states. The proposed legislation is called H.R. 2306 and everyone should support the federal government getting out of state business.

    Tell your representatives ->

    “[Prohibition] attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.” – Abraham Lincoln

    1. “Prohibition is a waste of police resources…”

      That’s the point. More money for the unions.

  8. Start a “Neighborhood Watch” in your area.

    * A neighborhood watch does more than just ally against horse dealers: all quality of life crimes are reduced when neighbors are vigilant and do not compromise their stance. A weekly meeting with a few spliffs and pizza helps create a bond.

    * Take pictures of the riders (surreptitiously of course), the paraphernalia left behind, like empty oat bags, provides hard evidence for the police to do their job.

    * Children require alternatives to horses, so work with your community to ensure quality options to Equasy.

  9. Maybe all these women who are so in favor of making pot illegal should spend a few nights in a maximum security jail away from their families where a third-strike nonviolent offender is sent. Or why don’t THEY join a SWAT team that does a no-knock drug raids and kills innocent people, instead of making the men fight their battles for them?

    The female of the species is more ruthless and deadly than the male.

    1. “The female of the species is more ruthless and deadly than the male”

      Also conniving, controlling, selfish, and dishonest. With little sense of humor.

      If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.
      Hell hath no fury…

      These aphorisms accurately capture female attitudes.

      1. If it wasn’t for pussy, they would only be good for cooking and cleaning!

  10. “Just 31 percent of Americans think marijuana purchased under [medical marijuana] programs is being used to alleviate suffering from serious medical illnesses.”

    I’m totally in favor of abolishing the ridiculous and destructive war on drugs, but if you still believe the explosion of medical marijuana dispensaries nationwide is about helping sick people, I have a nice bridge in New York City you may be interested in purchasing.

  11. Looking at the percentage, there’s some 10% of idiots who are somehow anti legalization, pro medicinal marijuana, but definitely believe that medicinal marijuana is a lie and is really about people getting pot.

    Which means, what, they’re bravely pro-hypocrisy and the medicialization of society?

  12. Usually, Reason’s writers are smart enough to see through the fog of most polls, but sadly not this time out. How would it be credible for a nationwide poll to ask people if they think MMJ is being used for the right reasons if they are asking that question of people who do not live in an MMJ state, as many of the respondents inevitably don’t live in an MMJ state. So how is the poll on this point even credible and why the hell didn’t the writer point this put? It’s about as worthwhile a poll result as asking Canadians who they plan to vote for for US President!

  13. Prohibiting something that people are GOING TO DO ANYWAY is blatantly big-brother, and I will not put up with it!
    I am out of here; to Mexico where the grass is greener.

  14. After 43 years of reading government propaganda about marijuana from the major 3 networks I am leery of any polls produced by them,especially after a poll reporting more than 50% support full legalization has not even cleared the air.

    It is too much like a response poll,trying to downplay the significance that the majority of Americans support legalization and just the tactic the drug czar would use,,,

    You know the drug czar must hate the internet,,when I started fighting our government over cannabis it took 2>3 weeks just to answer their propaganda,,if the newspaper would print your response,but now,,it is answered within moments of their spewing the garbage out of their mouths.

  15. I tend to give more credibility to the Gallup poll. Let’s assume 50/50 on full legalization some of the “pros” hate pot but are fond of freedom some “cons” love pot but make there living Fighting “drug war”
    Some things we know from US and state government studies: The Laguardia report in the forties , nixon’s study done in 1968, the DE A’s on admin law judge,
    pot just isn’t addictive or dangerous is not a gateway drug and may in fact help alcoholics and those addicted to opiates overcome that TRUE addiction … And lots of studies done by respected universities show positive correlation to medical use

    So if some stoner is sitting home on his couch STONED OUT OF HIS GOURD and is not out driving and he is home high as a kite on a substance that may actually be doing him some good. rather than destroying his liver by drinking alcohol and getting cancer by smoking tobacco and blowing secondhand smoke that does cause cancer ….. WELL just get over it

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