Marijuana Support at 30-Year High

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Aug 25, 2001.

  1. By Dennis Cauchon, USA Today
    Source: USA Today

    Support for legalizing marijuana is at its highest level in at least 30 years, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll. The poll found that 34% favored legalizing marijuana use while 62% were opposed, the most support for legalization since pollsters began asking the question in 1969.
    Support for legalization had been constant at about 25% for 20 years before the USA TODAY poll recorded a rise to 31% in August 2000 and 34% earlier this month.

    "We are literally winning the hearts and minds of the American people," says Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

    He says the government's opposition to letting doctors prescribing marijuana for pain relief and nausea has helped legalization efforts.

    "The longer they fight this battle, the more progress we make," Stroup says. "Americans rethink their position on marijuana when they see a government disinterested in helping dying patients."

    But Robert Hussey, executive director of the California Narcotics Officers Association, says the fight against legalizing marijuana - for medical or recreational use - is still worth waging. "We have enough legal drugs out there. We don't need another one," he says.

    Hussey agrees that medical marijuana has given momentum to advocates of legalization. "They've chosen this issue to get their message out, and they've had money to back it up in voter referendums," he says. "We haven't been able to get our message out."

    Since 1996, voters in eight states have passed initiatives supporting medical marijuana. Polls show more than 70% of voters support medical marijuana.

    Polls in Canada and the England have shown half the population now supports legalizing marijuana.

    The USA TODAY/CNN poll found support for legalization highest among 18- to 49-year-olds, people in the West, and independent voters.

    Opposition was greatest among the elderly, those who attend church weekly, and Republicans.

    Parents with children under 18 had similar views as others.

    Source: USA Today (US)
    Author: Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY
    Published: August 23, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.


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