Latest Gallup Poll Shows Half of All Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

The latest Gallup Poll as announced by the Los Angeles Times, shows that record numbers of Americans now believe that marijuana should be legalized. Almost exactly 50% of Americans polled now say that they think marijuana should be made legal for recreational use, up from just 46% in last year’s poll.

The numbers in the latest poll are in sharp contrast to those found by Gallup back in 1969, when the company first began asking Americans whether they thought that pot should be legalized. At that time, just 12% of American thought it should be, during a time many see as the heyday of the pot smoking culture. Since that time, the numbers have climbed steadily.

Along with the overall numbers, the poll also found that men outnumber women in thinking pot should be legalized, and to no one’s surprise, more people in the western parts of the country thought it a good idea then did the rest of the country. Also not much of a surprise is that the younger the person being asked, the greater the chance they thought weed should be legalized.

In an interesting side note, these latest numbers from Gallup come just six months have the federal decided that marijuana should continue to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which means the penalties for its possession, use and especially its sale are the same as for harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Also of note, it was just last week that the federal government announced its intention to begin cracking down on so-called medicinal clinics that offer marijuana to anyone with a doctor’s prescription. A system that was widely believed to be heavily abused by those seeking to smoke pot for recreational purposes.

This latest move by the feds seems wildly out of sync when Gallup also found just last year that roughly 70% of Americans believe marijuana use by those that can derive medical benefit from it should be allowed to do so. Also, the majority of doctors have now become convinced as well.

One of the idiosyncrasies of marijuana and its use is the sometimes contrasting laws that govern its use. Most states now have fear less severe penalties than the federal government, and thus, it has fallen to the federal government to enforce those laws een as the so-called criminals are acting under local jurisdictions. This apparent dichotomy has been known to create friction between federal and state officials, sometimes leading to public spats.

In any case, as the numbers of Americans who believe marijuana should be legalized go up, so too do the chances that it will someday soon become so.

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