A new survey reports that a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. Angus Reid Public Opinion has found that 55% of Americans support legalization of marijuana. This is higher than both their 2009 and 2010 surveys, in which Americans favored it 53% and 52%, respectively.
The poll also shows a vast majority of Americans believe the war on drugs itself is a failure. 69% of republicans, 65% of democrats, and 70% of independents believe the war on drugs is and has been ineffective. Over a third of all Americans represented in the poll do not approve of the war on drugs. The war costs over $15 billion to the federal government each year. State and lower governments spend a combined $25 billion annually. Since the inception, the war on drugs has cost America an unfathomable $1 trillion. An expensive mistake.
Unsurprisingly, democrats favored marijuana at a higher percentage than republicans, with 63% of the democrats and 41% of the republicans in favor. It seems marijuana legalization is one issue that nearly has bipartisan support. Interesting results were had in the age category, with older respondents approving at a higher rate than their younger counterparts. A whopping 57% of 35-54 year olds support legalization, and 54% of the 55+ age group are in favor, while the younger 18-34 group was just barely across the line at 53%.
The next highest approved substance was ecstasy. However, only a meager 10% support legalization of the iconic drug, making it pale in comparison to its leafy companion. Even less supported legalization of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or crack cocaine, all of which carry much higher risk and stigma than cannabis.
Staggering figures that not only support legalization of marijuana, but also disapprove of the war on drugs should not be ignored by politicians. 64% of Americans think the country has a drug problem, and 67% think we’re not on the right path to fixing it. Meanwhile, a drug with majority favor remains illegal, and a drain on resources and freedoms everywhere. America and I believe it is time for change.