Poll: Record Support For Legalizing Pot

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 4 2012 4:36 PM

New Poll Suggests Record Support for Legalizing Pot

149253066
A budtender pours marijuana from a jar at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center medical marijuana dispensary, which opened in 2006, on July 25, 2012 in Los Angeles

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling has some new numbers that pot advocates are going to want to see: 58 percent of respondents said that marijuana should be made legal under federal law, compared 39 percent who said that it should not.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, which we trust has a good handle on things, that level of support for legalization is at an all-time high:

The poll of 1,325 voters asked the same question that has been used by Gallup since 1970 to measure support for marijuana legalization in the country. In October 2011 Gallup found, for the first time, a majority (50%) of Americans supported making marijuana legal. Election results and pre-election polls in Colorado suggest PPP’s automated telephone survey might be a more accurate gauge of support for marijuana legalization, perhaps due to a hesitancy of voters to express their pro-marijuana sentiments to live operators, such as those utilized by Gallup.
Advertisement

The level of support found by PPP also easily trumps that found by CBS News last month. That survey showed an even, 47-47 split on the topic.

PPP pollsters, however, did find a more balanced breakdown on the issue if they looked only at those respondents who said they "felt strongly" about the issue. In that case, 33 percent of people said pot should be legal compared to 34 percent who said it should not be. Those who were less passionate about the topic—those who said they "didn't feel strongly"—were much more likely to side with pot advocates, 25 percent to 5.

You can check out the full numbers here. A couple other highlights: Men were more likely to back legalization that women, 62 percent to 54 percent; and 50 percent of respondents said they expect pot to be legal under federal law within the next decade compared to 37 percent who thought otherwise.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.