Poll: Majority Say Pot Should Be Legal

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 5 2013 10:11 AM

For the First Time, a Majority of Americans Think Pot Should Be Legal

151462778
48 percent of Americans admit that they've smoked pot at least once in their lives

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

A new survey from the Pew Research Center suggests that for the first time since pollsters started asking the question more than four decades ago, a majority of Americans believe that pot should be legal.

Screen shot 2013-04-05 at 9.57.30 AM

In related news: 48 percent of Americans admit that they've smoked pot at least once in their lives, up from 38 percent a decade ago. Other takeaways:

Advertisement
  • 65 percent of Millennials,  54 percent of Generation X, and 50 percent of Boomers now favor legalizatioon.
  • 12 percent say they have used marijuana in the past year. Among those, 47 percent say they used it “just for fun,” 30 percent say it was for a medical issue, and 23 percent volunteer they used it for both.
  • 38 percent agree that for most people pot is a gateway drug, down more than 20 points from the late 1970s.
  • 72 percent say that government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth. And 60 percent say that the federal government should not enforce federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana in states where it is legal, like Colorado and Washington.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

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

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.