More Evidence That Most Americans Oppose Marijuana Prohibition


Senate Judiciary Committee

According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 55 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, which is similar to the results of a CNN poll conducted a few weeks ago and a Gallup poll conducted last fall. The wording of the latest survey was unusual, asking respondents how they would react "if a law passed in your state that allowed adults to purchase small quantities of marijuana for their own personal use from regulated, state-licensed businesses." Only 19 percent said they would "actively work to overturn it," while another 24 percent said they would oppose the law without seeking to change it. On the pro side, 24 percent of respondents said they would "actively support" the law, while another 31 percent said they would favor it without actively supporting it.

By comparison, 54 percent of respondents in the CNN poll said "the sale of marijuana should be made legal," 58 percent of respondents in the Gallup poll said "the use of marijuana should be made legal," and  53 percent of respondents in a Reason-Rupe survey conducted last January said "the government should treat marijuana the same as alcohol." Two other recent polls found less support for legalization: 51 percent for legalizing "the use of marijuana" in a CBS News survey completed last week and 49 percent for "legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use" in a Washington Post/ABC News poll earlier this month. Still, all but one of the polls so far this year has found majority support for legalization, suggesting that Americans really have crossed that threshold or will soon. How soon Kevin Sabet will admit it is another question.