That said, all the major polling firms in the United States can agree on one thing: a majority of Americans favor marijuana legalization. And the biggest-ever poll on marijuana legalization yet shows that a clear majority of almost a half-million Americans favor an end to cannabis prohibition.
Web-based CivicScience analyzed two years' worth of polling data
and found that legalization is a mainstream topic indeed. About 58 percent of Americans surveyed supported legalization, and if results from just the past few months were counted, support rose to 61 percent.
The most recent results from all the major American polling firms found a consensus supporting marijuana legalization for the first time last year
, with Gallup finding 58 percent in favor of legal weed. This was seen as a very big deal indeed, the sign of a strong cultural shift on the issue of drug use.
CivicScience differs from the other polls in that its surveys are web-based and not taken via telephone like most surveys for political campaigns (actually, online polls were used often in the 2012 presidential elections). In any event, this is the biggest poll taken on the legalization question, notes Tom Angell, chairman of the New York City-based Marijuana Majority.
The poll surveyed more than 453,000 people. Of those, 250,000 said they would support marijuana legalization if confronted by the question at the voting booth.
"This huge poll is yet another indication that marijuana legalization is officially a mainstream issue," Angell said in a statement Wednesday. "With ending prohibition polling better with voters than most elected officials do these days, it'll be really interesting to see which 2016 contenders realize that supporting marijuana reform is good politics and which still don't get it."
For the record, 2016 is supposedly the year that California voters will again have the chance to legalize marijuana. A 2010 effort was defeated (thanks in some part to the federal Justice Department), and efforts to get legal weed on the ballot have failed in part due to money, or the lack thereof.
Weed is going to win. It's just a matter of when... and how much it will cost.
Results from surveys are regularly flaunted as hard facts despite clear limitations, including margin of error, telephone "push-polling," and sample sizes.