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Majority of Americans agree: Weed should be legal

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LOS ANGELES — Here is a short list of things that, according to Gallup, are less popular with Americans than the idea of legalizing pot:

Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court. The president.

In a sweeping cultural shift, comparable perhaps to Americans’ quickening support of same-sex marriage, a majority of Americans now favor legalizing marijuana use, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday. The survey showed that 58% of 1,028 respondents supported legalization, with 39% against.

That’s a drop for the naysayers from just three years ago, when 50% of respondents opposed legalization — a number already riding a long plummet from a high of 73% in the 1990s.

potGallup credited much of the surge to political independents, whose support for legalization jumped from 50% to 62% in less than a year.

And what a year it has been for marijuana advocates: Last November, voters in Colorado and Washington easily passed ballot initiatives — 55% to 45% in each state — to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana. In Colorado, the legalization measure got more votes than President Obama, who won the state.

After the victory, advocates and politicians alike were unsure how federal law-enforcement authorities would react to state laws that contradict federal laws that prohibit marijuana use and list it as a controlled substance.

Those tensions eased after the Justice Department announced in August that federal officials would not interfere with voter-approved laws that legalized recreational marijuana use, as long as the state laws were strictly regulated.

The Gallup poll didn’t quiz respondents on why, exactly, they’ve gotten behind pot use. But the shift can’t solely be attributed to personal drug use.

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

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4 comments

  • Ted

    A majority of americans have thought this way, about weed and gay marriage, for a long time. It’s the politicians who were the road block, on these issues. IMHO

  • readabook

    majority of americans get a divorce. majority of americans are obese. majority of americans think that a majority equals correct. majority of americans are ignorant of Mill's "tyranny of majority." majority of americans think red or blue equals a belief. majority of americans think angels are physically real. stupid, it is all very stupid

  • guest

    the key here is "based on those responding". that does not mean an accurate representation of intelligent citizens, could be all pot heads.