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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Marijuana Legalization Is More Popular Than Congress, Obama, and BART

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Preferable to BART
  • Preferable to BART

As predictable as the sixth story in the same news cycle asking harried commuters to share their thoughts on traffic are polls asking Americans how they feel about marijuana legalization.

That is to say: people don't like traffic. And they like marijuana legalization.

On Tuesday, Gallup released a followup to the 2011 poll that saw record support among Americans -- all Americans -- for marijuana legalization. Another poll, another record, as 58 percent of Americans are now behind legalizing marijuana.

That would make legal weed more popular than Congress, more popular than the President -- more popular than most things.

Having very near to two-thirds of all Americans behind legalization of marijuana represents a "quadrupling" of support since the late 1960s, shortly before the federal Controlled Substances Act made the magic plant among the most-verboten of all substances.

The 2011 poll showed a dead-even heat for marijuana legalization, with 50 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed.

Since then, of course, small amounts of marijuana were made legal in Washington and in Colorado -- and the federal Department of Justice, which helped to derail legal weed in California in 2010, signaled its tacit acceptance in August.

This means attitudes are changing rapidly on the plant -- and as Business Insider noted, marijuana legalization is more popular than Congress and the president.

What's behind this? Some say it's the Internet. Having freewheeling access to all sorts of information has changed attitudes quickly. Warnings of marijuana's danger to society have gone unfulfilled -- and, hey, governments need tax money. So why not legalize marijuana, which 38 percent of Americans admit to trying?

"It has been a long path toward majority acceptance of marijuana over the past 44 years," the poll's authors wrote. "But Americans' support for legalization accelerated as the new millennium began."

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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