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Poll: Voters Back Rescheduling And Legalizing Marijuana


Legalize Marijuana legalization cannabis prohibition tea partyBy Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Fifty-two percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana “for recreational use,” according to national tracking poll data compiled by Morning Consult — a Washington DC consulting firm. Forty-three percent of respondents polled said that they oppose legalization and five percent were undecided.

Respondents between the ages of 18 to 29 (63 percent), Democrats (61 percent), and those aged 30 to 44 (60 percent) were most likely to support legalization. Republicans (37 percent) and those age 65 or older (36 percent) were least likely to be supportive.

In response to separate polling questions, 68 percent of respondents said that they support legalizing marijuana “for medical use.” Fifty-nine percent endorse decriminalizing marijuana, defined as “no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for the first-time possession of a small amount,” and 83 percent of respondents said that cannabis did not belong classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law.

The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 2 percent.

The Morning Consult polling data is similar to those of other recent national polls, such as those by reported by Gallup, CBS, and Pew, finding that a majority of Americans now support ending marijuana prohibition.

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Johnny Green


  1. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Sanders put up a senate bill, (SB 2237), last November to
    de-schedule cannabis.
    See NORML’s Take Action page for more info.

  2. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Bernie Sanders presently has a senate bill, (SB 2237),
    that specifies removing pot from the federal schedule altogether.

    See NORML’s Take Action page for more info.

  3. 90% of Americans favor background checks for firearm purchases yet our RECORD-BREAKING, DO-NOTHING, REPUBLICAN CONGRESS responds to the American people with the sound of crickets. They will NOT take action on the decriminalization of marijuana or even medical marijuana. They will NOT vote to reschedule marijuana. Americans have to force a change of government with a vote for new leadership.

  4. Sharon Taulbee on

    Question, has anyone petitioned for marijuana to be removed from the schedule 1 substances list….state by state….across the nation…bet someone could get at least 1 million valid signatures….that would get their attention….

  5. Don’t forget he didn’t cite a single source. Also, take note of the fact that his account has existed only a few days. I smell a troll spreading misinformation.

  6. My numbers are the most recent and therefor the most accurate — there’s no point in reporting on older, less recent polls. You can tell because I gave LINKS to the results.

    You’re neglecting the fact that cannabis legalization polls do not grow on trees — anytime there is one to be reported, it gets reported. This question isn’t polled ALL the time because polls cost money, and cannabis law reform has never been overwhelmed by financial support.

    And how, precisely, are we supposed to know whether or not you cherry-picked your numbers or simply made them up? You had zero citations. So you best get to work cutting and pasting links to those numbers you *probably* fabricated.

  7. saynotohypocrisy on

    “Its almost impossible just to get medical passed” in the South.

    Well, it sure has been difficult. Arkansas almost did it through a 2012 initiative, over 48% voted for it.
    But that difficulty is in spite of public opinion in the South, not because of it.
    The 57.6% support in Florida was for a specific initiative, and Sheldon Piglet Adelson’s megabucks were able to convince a lot of people who support medical marijuana that this specific proposal was flawed (It was pretty liberal for the South, there’s been changes made for this year’s initiative.).

    “Polls aren’t as accurate as voting results”
    They generally measure different things.
    Most polls about whether rec weed should be legalized ask the question in general, not about a specific proposal. There are always going to be people who are for legalization in general but not for a specific initiative.
    And the pre-election polling in the 4 states + DC that have legalized did turn out to be accurate.
    You have no legitimate reason for discounting all the national polls that show a majority in favor of legalizing weed.

    And the pollsters need to get professional about it and stop asking if people support legalizing recreational weed, WITHOUT ANY INDICATION that they are talking about for adults only. The most recent national poll reported on here had this flaw and so did the recent polls in Illinois and Florida. It’s a rigged Mickey Mouse question guaranteed to understate support for legalizing weed.

  8. Bailey Ranks on

    Polls arent as accurate as the voting results. Your cherry picking the best which have flawed sampling. Its the same as when polls showed 88% support for medical marijuana in Florida in 2014 but the ballot initiative lost with only 57% support. Southern and deep red states are extremely anti pot its almost impossible just to get medical passed. Theres a big difference between medical and recreational support. Even if my numbers are too low, its still no where near a majority nationally. The few winneable states which are super liberal only got 50 something percent while all the red states and most swing states would be blowout losses.

  9. Well stated. Correct on all points, especially concerning the thriving plutocracy. Bernie Sanders is truly the best (and only) hope we have for an end of the Drug War from the top down.

    However, despite the tenuous thread of the 2nd Cole memo, keep in mind the efforts that have and are slated to succeed from the bottom up — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington (plus DC). Also, keep in mind the seven states trying to legalize in 2016: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, and Vermont.

    Maine is having to sue the Secretary of State who invalidated 17,000 signatures based on the filed signature of a single notary, but that notary runs the firm that was hired by MPP to collect signatures, so their appeal is almost certain to succeed. California has dozens of competing initiatives, but AUMA has backing and is eclipsing the dozens of competitors. Michigan’s group is short on funds, but they’re not out of the fight, yet. The others (as far as I know) are on track, including Vermont, which may be the first state to pass legalization through the state legislature.

    There’s also a short list of states chomping at the bit for legalization that will likely push through bills and initiatives in the next 4-6 years: Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Rhode Island (who is currently considering a bill, but its fate is still unclear for the 2016 session).

    Grassroots groups in virtually every state have sprung to life, raising public awareness and moving poll numbers ever upwards. Even Hillary took a small pivot to the left in November by saying cannabis belongs in Sched II, not Sched I. Should she do as many predict and ask Bernie Sanders to be her running-mate (obviously a cold political calculation to garner support from the young people who “feel the Bern”), she’ll have to move even further left.

    Plus, I wouldn’t say the current administration has been kind to cannabis law reform simply because they selectively ignore certain efforts to reform cannabis laws. Often, the executive branch has actively opposed reform efforts. Also, the President gives the same answer about rescheduling cannabis every single time he’s been asked in the last 7 years, punting to *Congress* (really?) whenever asked, despite having the power to initiate rescheduling, himself, a power explicitly granted to the executive branch by the CSA in section 811. In 2012, the DOJ successfully defended the Schedule I classification in the DC Circuit Court when the ASA sued the DEA for denying a rescheduling petition after delaying it for almost a decade. One of the three judges who came down squarely on the side of the DEA in that case was Merrick Garland, President Obama’s current nominee to fill the SCOTUS vacancy.

    Given Hillary’s recent victories over Bernie in Ohio and the mid-west, we cannot pin our hopes on Bernie pulling out ahead of her anymore. The best we can hope is that she asks him to be her running-mate, which he might if she moves further to the left. He might get us Schedule III in the deal. As evidence by the number of co-sponsors on Bernie’s descheduling bill (zero), pulling Hillary to the left is our best hope for top-down reform, but I sincerely doubt Hillary would be stupid enough to overturn 4-10 states’ legalization should she win the White House in November, with or without Bernie’s support. She’d never get a 2nd term.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel. It won’t be easy, but it’s not hopeless. It’s not a slam dunk, but we’re still in the fight — if not top-down, from the state-level on upwards. Being aware of the brutal reality of our national politics is important as failing to do so means we’d be ignoring factors that could negatively (or positively) effect the cannabis law reform movement. But we can’t let that awareness cripple us with bitterness and fear. The powers that be won’t make it easy — far from it. But the train *has* left the station and the fabled tipping point is on the horizon.

  10. They aren’t my numbers and I’m wondering the same thing. I’d ask the original commenter, Bailey Ranks, who I suspect simply made the numbers up.

  11. Not likely, both front runners for the presidential nomination, Hillary and especially Trump, are at the higher end of the wealthiest 1% level. The majority of the 99% who are voting in the primaries are supporting candidates that have nothing in common with them in any real world, life experience way.

    While the only candidate who does, Bernie Sanders, (his net wealth is $300k) is dismissed as an unrealistic socialist dreamer.

    The plutocracy/corpocracy agenda will move forward and cannabis legalization at the state level hangs by a the mere thread of the Cole memorandum. This thread will be cut as soon Obama leaves office.

    Bernie Sanders has introduced a Senate bill to remove cannabis entirely from the Controlled Substances List. This is the first time in 80 years that someone in Congress has submitted a bill to end Federal cannabis prohibition. But not one other Senator has had the courage to co-sponsor that bill. Not even a Senator from one of the four states that have legalized cannabis.

  12. rescheduling is unacceptable. it must be descheduled! get the feds out of our gardens for good!

  13. Sharon Taulbee on

    A “We the People vs. United States” class action lawsuit is about the only way their going to change marijuana from a schedule 1 substance.

  14. Your numbers are wrong.

    New Jersey shows 58% support (http://eagletonpoll.rutgers.edu/rep-marijuana-apr2015/).

    Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are 51%, 52%, and 53% in favor, respectively (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/2016-presidential-swing-state-polls/release-detail?ReleaseID=2288).

    California is 60% in favor (http://www.probolskyresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/California-Statewide-Voter-Survey-Recreational-Marijuana-Report-on-Results.pdf)

    Connecticut is 62% in favor (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/connecticut/release-detail?ReleaseID=2174).

    Michigan is 56% in favor (http://pscinc.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=de-jah4Eaa8%3d&tabid=75).

    New Mexico is at 61% in favor (http://krqe.com/2016/01/28/poll-3-out-of-5-new-mexicans-support-marijuana-legalization/).

    Virginia is 54% in favor (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/2016-presidential-swing-state-polls/release-detail?ReleaseID=2186).

    Rhode Island is 60% in favor (http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20160215/NEWS/160219585).

    Arizona is 53% in favor (http://www.brcpolls.com/15/RMP%202015-II-04.pdf).

    Maine is 62% in favor (http://cola.unh.edu/sites/cola.unh.edu/files/research_publications/gsp2016_winter_govleg030116.pdf).

    New Hampshire polls at 62% in favor (http://www.wmur.com/blob/view/-/34322598/data/1/-/mnlcu3z/-/GSP-Marijuana.pdf).

    To be perfectly frank, it appears as though none of your numbers are accurate — most are at least ten points off in the same (wrong) direction. low-balling public opinion. You’re even wrong about the states who do not (yet) have majorities — a Georgia poll last month showed 45% support in favor.

  15. Our Political leaders have lost there credibility.. Opiates should be schedule one.. Mj should be scheduled 3 or 4..Believe me I know..I have been drug free for 37 years..I quit Mj about a year ago..The fools are smoking the potent stuff and selling ever white person Mx skunk.. Skunk would be an improvement…MJ poses a big threat to big Pharma..The idea that a person can grow there own Medicine is really threatening to Big Pharma…Big Pharma is what funds our Political Parties…Law and Politicians Dictate..As does Religion..Call me a Liberal if you want, just don!t call me at all..Don!t quote me either,because the Government will show up with tanks and big bullets…After all they are not subjects of prosecution,as history has demonstrated..La Buscador..

  16. What did you pull those numbers out of? KY percentage is way higher than that. Latest poll I took was 78% yae.

  17. Bailey Ranks on

    Marijuana legalization support by state. Looks like most of the country is off limits.

    Alabama 21%

    Alaska 52%

    Arizona 42%

    Arkansas 33%

    California 52%

    Colorado 53%

    Connecticut 43%

    Delaware 40%

    Florida 37%

    Georgia 32%

    Hawaii 44%

    Idaho 24%

    Illinois 40%

    Indiana 31%

    Iowa 29%

    Kansas 26%

    Kentucky 25%

    Louisiana 27%

    Maine 46%

    Maryland 43%

    Massachusetts 51%

    Michigan 46%

    Minnesota 40%

    Mississippi 23%

    Missouri 34%

    Montana 35%

    Nebraska 28%

    Nevada 52%

    New Hampshire 53%

    New Jersey 41%

    New Mexico 45%

    New York 43%

    North Carolina 34%

    North Dakota 25%

    Ohio 36%

    Oklahoma 20%

    Oregon 55%

    Pennsylvania 38%

    Rhode Island 48%

    South Carolina 30%

    South Dakota 24%

    Tennessee 26%

    Texas 29%

    Utah 22%

    Vermont 56%

    Virginia 37%

    Washington 55%

    West Virginia 28%

    Wisconsin 39%

    Wyoming 27%

  18. Wondering if America will be able to take control of the government back from the wealthy and the puppets of the wealthy?

  19. saynotohypocrisy on

    “For each of the following illegal drugs please indicate whether you support or oppose
    legalizing it for RECREATIONAL use. Marijuana”

    This is how they phrased the question, similar to the way recent polls in Illinois and Florida did. In each case without the slightest indication that they were referring to adult use only.
    It seems neither a fair nor a valid way to ask the question.

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