Most Americans Want Marijuana Legalized and Regulated

The latest public opinion poll shows that a growing majority of American voters support the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

Photo Credit: Aforero via Flickr

The latest public opinion poll to ask Americans about legalizing marijuana like alcohol and tobacco shows 56% agree with the idea, according to Rasmussen Reports. The support for marijuana legalization rises if it is to be sold only in pharmacies:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% of Likely U.S. Voters support legalization if marijuana is regulated and sold only in pharmacies. Thirty-two percent (32%) oppose legalizing marijuana even if its sales are controlled in this way. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.

According to Rasmussen, 62% of voters believe that American consumer demand is "a major factor in the drug violence and gang warfare in Mexico and Central America." In response to the violence, nearly half (47%) of all Americans are open to the idea of legalizing marijuana and cocaine if that would reduce border violence.

However, when the issue is broken down by substance, Americans are far more open to the idea of legalizing marijuana than cocaine. Just 11% of Americans surveyed supported legalization of cocaine when the question is asked separately.

On medical marijuana, a majority (52%) of voters believed the states should be able to overrule the FDA when it comes to approving drugs for medical purposes.

In other drug policy news, there is no longer majority support for the nationwide age limit of 21 years for alcohol. Now, just a plurality of Americans believe 21 is the right drinking age, with support rising to 35% for the lowering of the drinking age to 18 years.

The full list of drug-policy-related questions can be found at Rasmussen Reports.


Russ Belville is the host and producer of "The Russ Belville Show" at RadicalRuss.com.
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