Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal under federal law, and 50 percent of Americans think it actually will be within the next ten years, according to a poll commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.
The poll, which was carried out by the Raleigh, North Carolina-based firm Public Policy Polling, sampled the views of 1325 registered voters throughout the country. The results seem to confirm what's already in evidence with marijuana-friendly laws being enacted in more states each year: most Americans are fed up with the war on marijuana and think the federal government should move on to more pressing matters.
Breaking down the individual views of those surveyed along political lines, the poll found not surprisingly that more Democrats (68 percent) than Republicans (only 42 percent) favored marijuana legalization. The same breakdown occurred when respondents were asked if they thought pot actually will be legal within a decade: 59 percent of Democrats said yes and 30 percent said no whereas only 40 percent of Republicans thought so, compared to 46 percent who didn't.
Interestingly, Latinos seem to really like marijuana: 67 percent of self-identified Hispanic voters felt pot should be legal, as compared to just 56 percent of African-Americans and 55 percent of whites. The only other group to come close to sharing the Latin love of la mota is the “Other” group, whatever that means, which came in at 59 percent. Asians maybe? Native Americans? Whoever they are, they're smoking weed.
“Marijuana prohibition's days are numbered,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, which publicized the poll in a Dec. 4 press release. “New prominent voices are joining the chorus calling for change every day. Most thoughtful politicians have known for a long time that our marijuana prohibition laws are broken, but until recently the issue was considered too controversial to speak out about. Now more elected officials are beginning to realize that working to repeal failed status quo policies is not only the right thing to do, but that there's a large and growing constituency of voters who will have their backs in case out-of-touch opponents decide to launch stale 'soft on crime' attacks.”