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May 2012
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Powerful new poll results

In the new Rasmussen Poll, 56% of Americans supported legalizing and regulating marijuana and only 36% were opposed.

That’s pretty remarkable. We’ve done an incredible job in educating the public. And another thing that helps is that pollers are realizing that because of the baggage that certain words carry due to efforts of prohibitionists, careful question wording is essential.

The question for that particular answer was:

Suppose that marijuana was legalized and regulated so that it was illegal for people under 18 to buy, that those who drove while under the influence of marijuana received strict penalties, and that smoking marijuana was banned in public places like restaurants. With such regulations in place, would you favor or oppose legalizing and regulating marijuana?

Interestingly, while only 11% were in favor of legalizing cocaine in a manner similar to tobacco, when the question was asked:

If you knew that legalizing and regulating both marijuana and cocaine would, in fact, reduce drug violence along the Mexican border, would you favor or oppose regulating both marijuana and cocaine?

… the number went up to 47%

That’s incredible.

We still have work to do, but we’re making great strides in the important area (which is the people, not the politicians).

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47 comments to Powerful new poll results

  • strayan

    59% Say U.S. Should Continue To Build Fence on U.S.-Mexico Border

    It turns out they neglected to show the survey participants this before asking:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdc-kv7nzaU

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  • N. T. Greene

    The end is beginning.

    “A lie always returns; be careful how you catch it.”

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    • claygooding

      I think the DOJ “memo” was the turning point,,it was a major factor in getting people to start listening when we spoke and puns by the commentators on MSNBC started a definite decline.

      The thud on the wall that day was heard around the world.

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      • Peter

        clay excuse my ignorance but what was the memo and where can i source it?

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        • claygooding

          The memo is the one Holder issued directing Federal prosecutors not to spend resources prosecuting persons following state medical marijuana laws,,the first admission that marijuana has medical applications,,,even if it is only a token acknowledgement it is the first chink in the feds silence on the subject,other than to deny it.

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        • B.Snow

          Its known as the “Ogden Memo” -> Google away!

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  • Ed Dunkle

    If only Obama knew how to read a poll. Or Jerry Brown. What are these guys waiting for, 90% public approval?

    Well-liked Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • HenryScarsdale

    In November 2008, 68 percent of Swiss voters approved the legalized regulation of heroin.

    Results

    In many cases, patients’ physical and mental health has improved, their housing situation has become considerably more stable, and they have gradually managed to find employment. Numerous participants have managed to reduce their debts. In most cases, contacts with addicts and the drug scene have decreased. Consumption of non-prescribed substances declined significantly in the course of treatment.

    Dramatic changes have been seen in the situation regarding crime. While the proportion of patients who obtained their income from illegal or borderline activities at the time of enrollment was 70%, the figure after 18 months of HAT was only 10%.

    Each year, between 180 and 200 patients discontinue HAT. Of these patients, 35-45% are transferred to methadone maintenance, and 23-27% to abstinence-based treatment.

    The average costs per patient-day at outpatient treatment centers in 1998 came to CHF 51. The overall economic benefit – based on savings in criminal investigations and prison terms and on improvements in health – was calculated to be CHF 96. After deduction of costs, the net benefit is CHF 45 per patient-day.

    http://worldradio.ch/wrs/news/video/switzerland-embraces-heroin-assisted-treatment.shtml?12825

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  • darkcycle

    Nice. It’s good to start the day with a little good news. Thanks, Pete.

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  • Dante

    “If you knew that legalizing and regulating both marijuana and cocaine would, in fact, reduce drug violence along the Mexican border”

    This is how the war will be won – I call it the “reverse-scare tactic”. Prohibitionists constantly shriek about “the danger” of this or that, while any actual inspection of the subject they are shrieking about proves their claims to be false. Dead wrong. Stupid, even.

    Meanwhile, tons of evidence indicates that doing the polar opposite of what the prohibitionists want promotes safety, security, and “saves the children”.

    I predict America’s next “War on Everything” will be war on the right-wing prohibitionist agenda and the tragic and counter-productive results it has produced.

    Can’t wait.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Meanwhile, tons of evidence indicates that doing the polar opposite of what the prohibitionists want promotes safety, security, and “saves the children”.

      Don’t they call that Francis’ Law?

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    • Windy

      I would have given your post a thumbs up, Dante, except for this one phrase: “the right-wing prohibitionist agenda”, because the “prohibitionist agenda” is clearly a bipartisan agenda, not at all limited to only the “right wing”.

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  • Dano

    It’s all about people power.

    If we get enough people behind the movement then the politicians will listen. Electability is the biggest issue, and most politicians will do whatever it takes to stay in office, even if they have to turn on the ‘establishment’ to do so.

    You can expect that the official word of police and prosecutors to largely be against change until the end, but there’s already quite a bit of dissention building on this topic too.

    Now if we can just keep the pressure building…

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  • Duncan20903

    One of Mr. Obama’s advisors informed him of the poll results. Here’s an on the spot photograph of Mr. Obama considering the poll results.

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    • primus

      whose white fingers are in black obama’s ears?

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        I was going to comment on that but decided that I’d better not because people would think me racist for noting that there was different color skin in the picture. No, I don’t think you racist for bringing it up but I don’t have a clue what the modern definition of racism is anymore. When I was a school boy it had a very simple definition: a person that thought his race superior to the rest. Heck, Abe Lincoln was a a stark, raving racist but nobody hates him because of the Emancipation Proclamation.

        Rats, there I go blathering again. Never mind.

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        • A Critic

          I hate Abe Lincoln, in part because of the Emancipation Proclamation. The man freed zero slaves and he gets credit for freeing them all? WTF?

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        • Windy

          Agreed, A Critic, and the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery in the beginning, it was about the Constitutional freedom of any State in the Union to decide it didn’t want to be a part of the Union, anymore. Lincoln could not abide that those States would secede (for whatever reason, loss of revenue probably), and set about to stop them. The end of slavery was just a side effect, an unintended consequence of the war.

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  • Outlier

    Thanks for posting the question that got us those results. I wonder what the topline numbers on “do you support legalization?” were. Prop 19 had many of the same features as the poll question (age limit, banned in public places) but it got 46.5% in the state with the most entrenched culture of marijuana. The evidence is limited but it seems like voters go for vague (do you support mariujana legalization) over the specific (do you support a taxed, regulated market for cannabis). Washington’s initiative should be the first real test since it includes DUI penalties, an age limit, and bans smoking in public places.

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    • Ed Dunkle

      Prop 19 got attacked on its specifics, and, crucially, got exactly zero editorial support from the 30 major newspapers in California (the press, it seems, is even farther behind the public than the politicians.)

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  • big rig butters

    that poll is fake. it came from the onion news.quit ur bullshit. lay off the crack pipe.and get a hobby.like getting sodimized by bubba corn cola. these bitches be all on my nuts.bust that nut in her mouth like ur making a porno down south of miami.then wammy ur locked in the paddy wagon becouse you got high and got creamed by social disorder.fact check.wheres those welfare checks.big governments doing its best.lay crack feinds to rest.bullest sqaure in those potheads chest. bitches be in heat.repeat repeat repeat. prohibition americas on a holy misson.releve the tension. the police deserve fat pentions.restrictive government is the key.set everyone free. just drop ur pee first.then line up second.you job will be handed to you.regulated not mistated.drug use is overrated. all users must be hated. thrown under a bus for their loss of trust. no simple answer.god says blow em up with balistics missiles.making a heavy sound last thing doppers see before it hits ground is the sound of the wistle. cocaine nose job.for all them famous slobs.turn the knob.and now you got lindsey lohan slobbing on ur corn on the cob. hey hey hey weres bob? bobby brown he came to town he raped witney .over in hudson river.shit gives me this jibbers. fuck drugs they belong in the slums. where the children learn to drink cum from dumpsters. wake up u first tryed weed now your a porn star getting sprayed on with hiv becouse you abandon your family. ur another american tragdy

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    • Matthew Meyer

      Hey, that’s actually not too badly done in terms of rhyme and meter. You put some work into that, brb.

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    • darkcycle

      That’s Mr. Wiggles. He lives in Pete’s basement. Normally he stays put and we throw food scraps, old porno mags and roaches down the stairs to keep him happy. As long as we do that, he doesn’t bother anyone. But apparently we have been remiss in our duties. Will somebody empty the ashtray over the basement railing and please slam the door when he runs down to pick up the leftovers? Thanks. Pete, you know, someday you’re going to have to clean that basement.

      Well-liked Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        It’s all my fault. I once commented that it was impossible for a blog to make it to the big leagues without a resident troll and shortly thereafter the Wiggler was born, yet another bastard progeny of the war on (some) drugs. I apologize from the bottom of my heart and remind everyone to be careful what you wish for.

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    • pt

      Nice! Put a dubstep beat behind it and I smell a hit!

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  • Francis

    Support for legalizing cocaine rises from 11% to 47%(!) when the questioner ties it to a reduction in violence. That’s amazing. But it also suggests that at least 36% of Americans still don’t understand the blindingly-obvious link between prohibition and black market violence. Of course, that’s why we have to keep beating that particular drum. It may very well be the single most powerful argument we have against the drug war. It’s also an argument that’s easy for people to understand. Again, it really is obvious — once you stop and think about it. Unfortunately, too few people have ever done that. That’s why the comment below or some version of it is probably the one that I use more than any other.
    .
    .
    The war on (some) drugs fuels violence because the “WAR” on drugs IS violence. It’s the policy of sending men with guns to arrest the sellers of certain drugs and their customers and lock them in government cages. All of the other violence that surrounds the (non-alcohol, non-tobacco) drug trade is fundamentally a REACTION to that initial state-sponsored violence. Prohibition renders contracts unenforceable and makes it impossible for competitors to use the courts or the police to challenge intimidation or settle disputes. There are plenty of legal businesses that might love to “kill the competition,” but that only becomes a viable strategy under the black market conditions that prohibition creates. (Note that nobody from Coke or Pepsi gets killed as a result of the so-called “Cola Wars.”) Prohibition also raises the prices of illicit drugs and hence their profitability. (Econ 101: risk demands compensation.) This only increases sellers’ incentives to do “whatever it takes” to capture market share. Today you don’t see rival beer distributors engaging in deadly shoot-outs over turf, but you USED TO — during alcohol prohibition. Run a Google image search for “U.S. homicide rate graph” (not all together in quotes). Take a look at the murder rate before, after, and during alcohol prohibition (1919-1933). Then read some current news out of Mexico (pretty much any news will do). Spot a pattern? The use of state violence to address what is really a medical and health issue (as well as a matter of personal choice) has been a disaster. And it needs to stop.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
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    Oh oh, I didn’t realize that smoking pot led to murder! Oh wait, where do I know that name from…David Evans…don’t tell me, it’s on the tip of my tongue…

    Poll shows strong support for legal marijuana: Is it inevitable?
    A national Rasmussen Reports poll found that 56 percent of Americans back legal marijuana regulated like tobacco or alcohol. Trends show support on the upswing.
    By Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer / May 23, 2012

    /snip/
    Anti-marijuana groups say those questions are premature. If Rasmussen had put facts in the question’s premises, the outcome would have been the opposite, they say.

    “If they had asked, ‘If you knew that a majority of homicide convicts in New York had smoked marijuana within 24 hours of their convictions, would you be in favor of legalizing it?’ they would have gotten a far different answer,” says David Evans, special adviser to the Drug Free America Foundation. “These questions are so biased and leading, it’s embarrassing.”
    /snip/

    ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

    What’s really embarrassing is I think he actually meant within 24 hours of their crime, not within 24 hours of their final day in Court. Don’t forget that the 24 hour period after the crime is still within 24 hours. I dunno, maybe he’s right. After reading that bullshit I can certainly see myself strangling that lying little pecker to death.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      BTW, the Christian Science Monitor also wants to know, How much do you know about marijuana?

      Here’s a sample question:

      3. How was cannabis used by the Office of Strategic Services, a World War II-era US intelligence agency?

      ° as a gateway drug

      ° to assassinate targets

      ° as a truth serum

      ° to frame political enemies
      ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-
      I’m pixxed off, I only got 10 of 12. I thought I would ace it with ease. On the other hand both were from the arcana file. These were my two flubs:

      10. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, what percentage of teens between 12 and 17 used marijuana in 2009?

      11. An ABC News poll in January showed what percentage of Americans in favor of legalizing medical marijuana?

      It appears that this was published in early 2011 so that would be January 2011 and in another question it’s November 2010.

      The quiz was startlingly unbiased. I was expecting questions like “how many heads is the typical weed baby born with?” and “What percentage of dope smokers fall victim to schizophrenia and/or organic brain damage?”

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    • pt

      What it actually means is they had weed in their SYSTEM 24 hours after their ARREST, which obviously means absolutely nothing to anyone with a brain, if it is even true.

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    • claygooding

      “”‘If you knew that a majority of homicide convicts in New York had smoked marijuana within 24 hours of their convictions, would you be in favor of legalizing it?’”"

      This is typical David Evans crap,,,but to be honest,,I would have to ask David where they got the pot,,because unless I am wrong,,24 hrs after a murder conviction your in jail,,and probably need a joint.

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      • was just thinking the same thing… just convicted for homicide… mmm, yeah, I’d like a doob. Maybe even two.

        I won’t ask where they got the pot – after all, isn’t that what prison guards are for?. I will ask from which orifice young Master Evans pulled that. I’d wager most who commit homicide don’t have pot in their system.

        Dingbat asshat.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Ummm, I got that he was trying to cause people to infer that the murderers had chosen to enjoy cannabis 24 hours or less before the crime was committed, i.e. that cannabis caused these murderers to murder. Mr. Evans completely discards Ockham’s razor which would demand that we conclude that people that would commit a heinous felony wouldn’t be adverse to committing a civil infraction. I’ll bet most of them litter, double park, and spit on the sidewalk too too.

      I’ve been debating myself all evening and I can’t decide which is worse…that Mr. Evans would be arrogant enough to propose such preposterous bullshit or that I’m so jaded that I believe that there’s a significant cohort of alleged human beings that will actually swallow that preposterous bullshit. Dingbat asshats indeed.

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    • If you knew that a majority of homicide convicts in New York had eaten eggs for breakfast just before they committed their crime, would you be for or against school lunches containing eggs?

      Great questions the prohibitionists are suggesting.

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    • ryeguy

      Likely due to drug gang killings and the likelihood that most of the drug gang members do drugs.

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  • nick

    I would be happier if the news said “56% support legalizing ALL drugs”, not just marijuana. But I guess this is as good as it gets for now.

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    • Duncan20903

      Baby steps nick, baby steps.

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      • Windy

        I’m sick to death of those words, “baby steps”, I’ve been hearing that since the 60s and no actual steps, baby or otherwise, have been taken toward removing criminal and civil penalties from cannabis cultivation, trade, possession or use, let alone anywhere even close to a real conversation about any of the other so-called “illicit” drugs being decriminalized.

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    • TieHash

      At least the pollers are putting the link in re: the violence and cocaine. I have no facts to put behind this but at least the U.S. side drug war ( prohibition caused ) violence is caused by the “hard” drugs ( which of course are less harmful than alcohol ). But as Duncan pointed out, any progress is good to hear about.

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      • darkcycle

        Really, Tie Hash? I think a quick trip over to the “Drug War Victim” page might cause you to rethink that. To have a SWAT team kick down your doors, threaten (or kill) your family, ransack your home and take all your valuables would constitute violence, IMHO.

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  • nick

    I suppose the thing that I am worried about is once marijuana becomes legal the people who have worked so hard on getting it legalized will not support legalizing the other drugs as well.

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