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58

May seem like a simple number, but it’s very big.

New Gallup Poll

58% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana
39% oppose

That’s a 19% differential.

Tipping point passed.

Gallop Poll Marijuana

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45 comments to 58

  • claygooding

    It is great because it is a clear majority but cannot get excited by a poll anymore,,with 20 states having MMJ programs(working or not)and over 1/2 of American citizens living in states with MMJ,,over one million patients and hundreds of dr’s recommending marijuana as a medicine compounded by 80% of American voters supporting cannabis use under a doctors supervision,,it is still schedule 1.
    The government has gone beyond even zealot stage and has shown it is nothing more than a puppet to corporations time and again.
    The laws will not change until the lobby money for legalization matches the opposition(almost impossible)or long time prohibition supporters lose their seats in congress over their position.
    That list of the top ten recently mentioned here would be a good place to start. Grassley(who is deeply loved in his state)may even get nervous if enough constituents ask him why he has not sponsored or cosponsored a bill to remove cannabis from schedule 1 when 8o% of the voters want it done.

  • Jean Valjean

    Interesting that Democratic Party members have a higher percentage who support legalization than do Independents. You wouldn’t get this impression from the party leaders though. Every one from Joe Biden (if he runs for president) down to reps at state and federal level needs to be challenged in primaries if they continue to ignore the public on this issue.

  • Servetus

    The drug legalization movement has dealt a mortal blow to prohibition. Today, the Jolly Green Marijuana Giant sits astride and trickles down upon the prison industrial complex in a golden shower of useless and profitless urine samples. Hitler loved golden showers, and so should they.

    Legalization of different drugs will follow, along with a battle blasting every vile thing prohibition has spawned and inflicted upon world civilization since 1913.

  • Windy

    Hooray! But still 58% seems a smaller number than I would have expected, judging from the support I see online and locally. But better than less than 50%.

    BTW, for anyone interested in keeping up with WA State’s LCB implementation of I-502, here is the link:
    http://www.liq.wa.gov/marijuana/I-502

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Windy, did you remember to account for the fact that most prohibitionists are illiterate dolts? You’re just not going to find the illiterate posting in comments columns. But if you read the question to them out loud then they have the opportunity to express their opinions.

      OK, I admit the above isn’t anything other than a gratuitous insult. But if you want to see prohibitionists expressing their opinions go look at the comments columns under articles about Miley Cyrus singing Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 at her latest concert or about her upcoming trip to Amsterdam. Sheesh, a free trip to Amsterdam and getting paid to do that. …and idiots insist that she isn’t very smart.

      Take a look at the comments under this article if you want to see comments from prohibitionists which outnumber those made by the friends of freedom. No need for swimming trunks, the water there is very, very shallow:
      Miley Cyrus Smoking Weed Comes As A Shock To No One

      • Servetus

        Miley Cyrus’ former Disney fans appear to be suffering from star deprivation. It’s like Scrooge McDuck has turned commie. No wonder she’s trying to distance herself from Hannah Montana.

  • kaptinemo

    If you consider the (very valid) degree of paranoia on the public’s part regarding responding to anonymous poll-takers, it may very well be that a much higher percentage of the populace is in support of re-legalization.

    In any event, Hemingway’s famous ‘bell’ is ‘tolling’ for cannabis prohibition in particular and drug prohibition in general. For the former is the foundation cornerstone of the latter, as most reformers know quite well. Knock that out, and the whole rotten edifice comes crashing down.

    As the ‘old Klingon proverb’ goes, “Only a fool fights in a burning house!” And we reformers have plenty of fuel for the fire. May the prohibs remain foolish until the very end, for this madness needs to burn itself out of the national character and never rise again.

  • Francis

    Jonathan Rauch discussing the shift in America’s opinion on gay marriage (but obviously also relevant here):

    Alexis de Tocqueville, the Frenchman whose observations of America in the 1830s remain shrewdly relevant, famously remarked on Americans’ deference to majority opinion: “As long as the majority is still undecided, discussion is carried on; but as soon as its decision is irrevocably pronounced, everyone is silent, and the friends as well as the opponents of the measure unite in assenting to its propriety.” Although he exaggerates, the broad point remains true: the legitimising effect of public opinion is such that, other things being equal, majority support tends to amplify itself. Even if I have doubts about gay marriage, the fact that most of my countrymen are on the other side weakens my resolve and impels me to acknowledge the legitimacy of their view. The difference between support at, say, 55 per cent versus 45 per cent — that is, the differen[ce] between majority and minority standing — is one of kind, not merely of degree. That is not to say that opposition evaporates or crawls under a rock when it loses majority standing. But its power and relevance are greatly reduced.

  • Matthew Meyer

    Pete, that’s GallUp.

    • Francis

      Looks like a gallop to me. Hell, it looks like a stampede! 😉

      • allan

        indeed Francis, indeed… and we have Casey Jones driving that 300 mph freight train…

        hey… I have a question about that train… will it slow down enough for us to get off before it hits the WODwall and smashes it to smithereens?

        • Servetus

          It’s not the just the speed. It’s the momentum: p=mv. Remember when Craig Breedlove went out of control and clipped a power pole at about 600 mph when going for a land speed record on the salt flats? He heard a click in the cockpit and looked back to see the power pole virtually splintered into a pile of kindling. The car was barely touched. Shock waves have amazing properties. That’s what we’ve got going for the legalization movement.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    What is that food that the prohibitionist parasites and their sycophants are eating over there on the stupid side of town? Wait a second, maybe if I taste it…it’s very familiar…oh right! It’s sour grapes.

  • Servetus

    Maybe good news travels fast. It’s difficult to tell all at once what a majority shift on American drug policy can achieve at the international level, but for now, at least, the Iranian drug smuggler who survived his first hanging won’t have to go through it a second time. An Iranian minister says there’s no need to re-hang the convict.

    Credit is due Amnesty International and its urging the Iranian government to change its approach. World opinion is starting to matter in Iran, and we are likely to see this trend continue elsewhere, such as in Indonesia and China, as long as the U.S. continues to lighten up on its own drug policies.

    http://tinyurl.com/ofxuu7q

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I very much appreciate the idiot sycophant from Idaho who clued me in to the existence of the phenomenon of pluralistic ignorance. I really hate not being able to articulate what I perceive as a reasonable explanation for the behavior of people in a crowd. It isn’t like I didn’t understand it, I was very vociferous both in 2010 and 2012 trying to explain that people on our side of the table shouldn’t worry so much about the specifics of the laws proposed. There’s plenty of time to go back and fix stuff that needs fixing. Elections and ballot initiatives are decided at the margins and the fence sitters that we needed to get over the legal roadblock just aren’t sophisticated enough to worry about or grasp the nuances and specifics of the proposed laws. The only thing that they can see is a binary choice either legal or illegal.

      So the votes in Colorado and Washington have given outsiders suffering from that phenomenon the green light to support re-legalization. All IMHO of course.

      Pluralistic Ignorance

      In social psychology, pluralistic ignorance is a situation where a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but assume incorrectly that most others accept it, also described as “no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes.” In short, pluralistic ignorance is a bias about a social group, held by a social group. Lack of public opposition then helps perpetuate a norm that may be, in fact, disliked by most people. A lot of people are wrong about something but because everyone sees this wrong idea as the perceived social norm, no one speaks up against it.
      /snip/

      P.S. lots of people like to say, “throw out the bums on Election Day” but at the end of the day we find that have voted to re-elect their incumbent but are also mad because other people didn’t kick their bums to the curb. I believe that we’re also looking at a manifestation of pluralistic ignorance in this instance as well. Voting for Gary Johnson is a “wasted” vote? Only if the most important thing to a voter is being in the majority.

  • Dante

    The tipping point will be passed when 58% of the MONEY is on our side.

    Our political/criminal justice systems only change when there is money involved. Big money, like the kind of money a Federal Grant can bring. Or a war on something. Or an earmark in the national budget.

    Can’t wait until my tax dollars are spent to help me instead of hurt me.

  • Howard

    From the Gallup analysis;

    “Whatever the reasons for Americans’ greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States.”

    And, as the saying goes, the devil will be in the details as to how various states draw up legalization legislation. Although still early in the game, I’d say Colorado’s model should be emulated and not Washington’s. Why? Leaving out the provision to allow Washington recreational users to grow their own was/is a major mistake. There’s considerable dissatisfaction from the medical users side now that it’s possible/likely that medical users will lose their right to grow their own as the recreational law swallows (negates?) the medical one. This, after they were told that I502 would not impact their medical cannabis rights. Those of you who are more familiar with what is going on in Washington can fill in the details. I don’t live there, just going by what I’ve read (which means I may have it wrong :))

    Bottom line: Marijuana re-legalization without the home grow provision is still a form of prohibition and therefore unacceptable. I realize the need to compromise, but those of us in the marijuana law reform movement are the majority (would you look at that!). ‘They’ (bureaucrats, politicians, and other professional meddlers) need to do as ‘We’ tell them. Not the other way around. Not anymore.

  • stlgonzo

    OT: Federal Dismissal of Medical Marijuana Asset Forfeiture Cases

    Some more good news.

    http://www.sys-con.com/node/2840038

  • allan

    several re-legalization efforts here in OR. Word has it that Nadelmann and DPA are wanting to offer a bill that would leave penalties (as in some being felonies) for violating grow and possession limits. Hey Ethan… forget that shit mate. No penalties for pot! None!! ZERO!!!

    Incrementalism has had its day and gone on long enough. Oregon and Oregonions (Walla Walla sweets) are tired of the decades spent arguing about it.

    I think the limit for gnomemade beer is what, 100 gallons? And the DPA bill wants to limit us to 4 plants per household? FTS…

    • Howard

      Allan, correct, the time for capitulation is, well, over. While I have deep respect for many of the drug law reform organizations, there seems to be too much willingness to bend too far to get laws changed. I know certain groups have had a grand time sticking feathers in their caps but they need to stop acting like starving kids in a Dickens novel. Stating it again, ‘We’ are the #$%& majority now! Yes, compromise is required. But that needs to be demanded from the ‘other’ side more so now than ever before.

      You are quite correct in stating, “Incrementalism has had its day and gone on long enough”. This slow creep toward reform, with the incessant road blocks and speed bumps needs to be circumvented. Not that hastily rushing bad bills will work either. But this slow churn is the fading prohibitionists tactic alone. It’s time to step over the crawling zombies :D.

  • claygooding

    Legalize it and allow anyone to grow as much as they want and sell one ounce to anyone over 21,,let supply and demands run the market,,if big Ag wants to grow thousands of acres of Afghan Kush and can sell it cheaply enough to underprice what the home growers are producing more power to them.
    If the state has to have some taxes they can sell $10 grow licenses for resolving security problems keeping teenagers out of the grows.

  • darkcycle

    Ominous rumblings accompany the good news, though. This today from the Stranger. I do believe it would be a good place to focus some quality keyboard time, and there’s a legislative hotline, too.
    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/its-official-state-trying-to-destroy-medical-pot-law/Content?oid=18019673

    • allan

      instead of destroying it (mmj), they need to value it. The patients (legal and otherwise) – bless our hearts – have amassed volumes of info about strain, conditions, doses… if anything some funds from legalization should go to a state effort to actually collect patient testimony.

      All of this will look so f’ing stupid in another decade… and may the pinheads (on both sides) bent on prolonging the inevitable in the name of job security find themselves deservedly wearing a funny uniform and asking folks if the want an apple pie w/ their oxymoron meal.

    • kaptinemo

      Yepper, and who do we have to thank for that?

      I knew the fox had been brought in to ‘advise’ the chickens on coup construction and security when the Washington State government hired Mr. Kleiman. Why else hire such an unabashed prohib?

      And now, CA wants to hire one of his subordinates onto Gavin Newsom’s cannabis re-legalization board? Not to mention a couple of prohibs from Smokin’ Joe Califano’s rabidly prohib CASA? To ‘advise’ them, too?

      They’re inviting the (very well known) enemies of drug law reform, whose modus operandi is to pee in the reform punch-bowl every chance they get, to have a say in how cannabis law reform is made? Does anyone here not believe for a moment that the resulting ‘punch’ will not have a sour acid smell, yellowish color and horrible taste if said prohibs are allowed within sufficient ‘range’ and do what they are known for?

      What’s unfolding in WA should be a warning to anyone thinking the prohibs will ever ‘change their spots’. They might use hair dye to make the spots look like stripes, but they’re still prohibs…and cannot ever be trusted. Not after what they’ve done…

      • darkcycle

        The up side is (if there is an up side), that the WSLCB has stepped way outside their charter ( that is, to advise on recreational market implementation) and into medical law and deep, deep doo-doo. First, they have no power to even make lawmakers consider their advice. Second, the medical people have had to fight to get, maintain and expand the medical laws here all along. And they’ve done so successfully EVERY SINGLE TIME the opponents of MMJ have tried to change the law. The WSLCB just took on a well organized, well funded opposition who knows how to win a fight. Plus, they’ve done pissed me off, and that’s a mistake.

      • DdC

        Autumn is here, Auuu-ttt-uum is here.
        Life is skittles and life is beer.
        I think the loveliest time of the year is the fall.
        I do, don’t you? ‘Course you do.
        But there’s one thing that makes Autumn complete for me,
        And makes ev’ry Sunday a treat for me.

        All the world seems in tune
        On a fall afternoon,
        When we’re stoning prohibitionists in the park.
        Ev’ry Sunday you’ll see
        My sweetheart and me,
        As we stone the prohibitionists in the park.

        When they see us coming, the liars all try an’ hide,
        But they still go for beer nuts when coated with the kynd.
        The sun’s shining bright,
        Ev’rything seems all right,
        When we’re stoning prohibitionists in the park.

        Lalaalaalalaladoobiedieedoobiedoo

        We’ve gained notoriety,
        And caused much anxiety
        In the Drug Rehab Society
        With our games.
        They call it impiety,
        And lack of propriety,
        And quite a variety
        Of unpleasant names.
        But it’s not against any religion
        To want to discredit a greedy chicken little.

        So if Sunday you’re free,
        Why don’t you come with me,
        And we’ll stone the prohibitionists in the park.
        And maybe we’ll do
        In a calvina or kevie,
        While we’re stoning prohibitionists in the park.

        We’ll bake them{ all }amid laughter and merriment.
        Except for the few we take home to experiment.
        My pulse will be quickenin’
        With each taste of brownie
        We feed to a prohib.
        It just takes a smidgen!
        To stone a drug worrier in the park.
        ~ stoning prohibitionists.jpg

  • allan

    mmm… made it out to the coast w/ my friends with the funny hats. A good mental dusting indeed. Opened the doors, windows, swept the place out. Talked w/ Krishna in the gardens for a bit about art and the sacred… lounged poolside in Elysium… saw some very cool Aztec art… ummm… mother nature put on a fantastic light show with lots of fog, sunshine, all at a minus low tide… and I still see it clear as day. Folks that only drink alcohol have no clue what being intoxicated and coherent looks like do they?

    My title for the day was DUI… discussions under the influence. I only meandered into a political frame of mind once, immediately backed away (fear of spontaneous combustion) and the rest of the afternoon was, well, shroomy.

    Oh, and it was hardly a nice autumn day at the beach. 30 mph or so wind, mostly foggy (but right on the edge of the fog line, thus the light show), maybe 50º in the wind. We hunkered down behind a small sand dune and had 3′ from ground up where it stayed calm, and in the mid 60s. Even warmer for the hour or so of all sunshine.

  • Francis

    This article does a nice job of putting these results in perspective:

    A poll released today by the Gallup organization finds 58% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. It’s the first time a clear majority has favored legalization since Gallup started asking the question in 1969.

    The finding is remarkable because, these days, it’s hard to find much of anything that 58% of Americans like.

    I went back and looked through some other Gallup polls this year to find questions where more than 58% of the public took the affirmative position. Legal marijuana isn’t as popular as universal gun background checks (83%) or legal sodomy (64%). But it’s more popular than almost everything else.

    More Americans want to legalize marijuana than think President Obama is doing a good job (44%), want to keep or expand Obamacare (38%), favored attacking Syria (36%), support a 20-cent gas tax increase to pay for infrastructure (29%), or like the Republican Party (28%).

    And legal marijuana has more than five times as many supporters as Congress does (11%).

    • allan

      indeed…

      do the prohibs know how hard we work to fool over half the population? Oh… wait… we aren’t the ones fooling the public. Are we Kev?

      Truth is a funny thing… spread it around enough and it eventually stands on its own.

      The lies and practices of Prohibition II are so foul that its self-serving fecundity becomes glaringly obvious, even to the US public, thus 58.

      engine engine
      58
      haulin’ us
      some freedom freight
      300 miles
      per hour we blaze
      headin’ for
      those bastards’ gate

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I still get a kick from thinking about the Massachusetts ballot on Election Day 2008. That Election Day there were two ballot initiatives which kept my attention. Decriminalization of petty possession of cannabis which won without even breaking a sweat by 62.8% to 33.5%, and the repeal of the State income tax which failed by 66.7%-29.5% linky

      Anyone that thinks that oral sex should be criminalized is in desperate need of a check up from the neck up.

  • Freeman

    Kleiman has a post up about the poll. He’s further conceding the war on pot, but couldn’t help tossing in his usual shtick:

    Update Andrew Sullivan strikes a triumphal note. Hard to fault him for that. But goddammit, “less harmful than alcohol” and “not harmful to most of its users” do not add up to “harmless.” Adolescents spin out on cannabis and wreck their academic careers. People of all ages do stupid things while stoned, including driving their cars into trees and other cars. Cannabis now follows only alcohol as the primary drug of abuse reported by people voluntarily entering drug treatment.

    Why take the perfectly reasonable case that cannabis should not be illegal and ruin it with the silly claim that the stuff is harmless?

    My response to that.

    P.S. His “caveats” are weak, too:

    Of course this calls for some caveats.

    1. The question, as asked, was about legalizing use, not production and sale.

    2. With a sample size of only 1000, some of the movement might be noise rather than signal. The Galston-Dionne analysis of Pew Center data from earlier in the year shows a more closely divided country; again, it’s an open question whether that difference is measurement error or real change over a few months.

    3. Bad outcomes in Washington or Colorado might reverse the trend.

    (#3: Now how could that happen after WA hired the brightest, most professional and knowledgeable consulting team EVAH to advise them?)

    • allan

      less harmful… hmmm… I’d say waaay less harmful. Or maybe incredibly less harmful… I mean after all, fatal consumption of alcohol is an every day reality, the same cannot be said for cannabis. In fact based on fatal overdose, cannabis is super stupendously safer than alcohol.

      Give it a rest Mark. And yes, waiting for WA to fail after setting it up for failure… ummm… is, uh, pretty slimy no?

    • darkcycle

      Well done. I went there loaded for bear, but I read the comments and your final piece basically covered it. I don’t believe he’ll be responding to that one. 😉

  • Paul McClancy

    I’ve seen some of the parasites claim that it’s “only a survey of a 1000+ people” and “if this were the case marijuana would be legal in most states”. What would you guys say to these prohibs?

    • allan

      me? i’d give it a healthy “nanner nanner nanner!”

      or maybe “do you always make your whine from sour grapes?”

  • This is great news, but this poll tracks the public’s view of the policy (the question asked was “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?”).

    Where we’ll see politicians start to really move is when the public claim they would support a candidate described as a “marijuana/drug legalizer” (as a moral judgment of the candidate as a person).

    That tipping point is probably not reached yet, but is coming fast.