New Poll: 52% Say Marijuana Should Be Legal,
Is Similar to Other Recent Surveys.
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - A new Zogby poll commissioned by the conservative-leaning O'Leary Report has found 52 percent voter support for treating marijuana as a legal, taxed, regulated substance.
The survey, published as a full-page ad in today's issue of the political newspaper The Hill, polled a sample of 3,937 voters weighted to match the 2008 presidential outcome -- 54 percent Obama voters and 46 percent McCain supporters.
"This new survey continues the recent trend of strong and growing support for taxing and regulating marijuana and ending the disastrously failed policy of prohibition," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.
Voters were asked: "Scarce law enforcement and prison resources, a desire to neutralize drug cartels and the need for new sources of revenue have resurrected the topic of legalizing marijuana. Proponents say it makes sense to tax and regulate the drug while opponents say that legalization would lead marijuana users to use other illegal drugs. Would you favor or oppose the government's effort to legalize marijuana?"
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The results showed a decisive majority of 52 percent in favor with 37 percent opposed and 11 percent not sure -- slightly higher than the 46 percent support reported in an ABC News/Washington Post poll released at the end of April.
In California, the respected Field poll recently found 56 percent support for making marijuana a taxed, regulated product that is legal for adults.
"Voters are coming to realize that marijuana prohibition gives us the worst of all possible worlds -- a drug that's widely available but totally unregulated, whose producers and sellers pay no taxes but whose profits often support murderous drug cartels," Kampia said.
"The public is way ahead of the politicians on this."
With more than 27,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
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"Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on a product,' people see a war as a war on them," he said. "We're not at war with people in this country."