Another Poll Shows Legalization Arriving

A new national poll shows a clear majority of Americans in favor of legalizing and regulating marijuana – “the strongest support ever recorded,” according to one pro-marijuana activist.   The Rasmussen poll found that 56 percent of respondents favored legalizing and regulating marijuana similar to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are currently regulated. Thirty-six percent were opposed.   Critics have dismissed the survey, saying its questions were asked in a particularly leading fashion – a charge that Rasmussen contests. But experts who track the issue say the poll is consistent with the overall trend of steadily rising acceptance of marijuana use.
Some state may legalize marijuana soon, perhaps as early as this November, says Robert MacCoun, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, who follows marijuana laws. That means it is time to consider shifting the debate from legalization to consideration of how it should be done, he adds. “For example, if we tax and regulate, should we tax by weight or should we tax by THC content to discourage the most potent products?” he asks. “Can we set taxes high enough to offset the inevitable steep drop in prices or are we willing to allow consumption to increase?”

Beth Chunn, spokesman for Rasmussen Reports, says the firm conducted the study the way it did to answer a specific question: “This survey tested whether legalization and regulation generated more support than legalizing and taxing. It did.” Pro-marijuana groups are using the findings to argue that the Obama administration’s raids on state medical marijuana dispensaries are not in concert with the public’s wishes, and that politicians who don’t support further relaxation of penalties are behind the times. “This is the strongest support ever recorded in favor of marijuana legalization in the US,” says Dale Gieringer, state coordinator of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). “It confirms a trend that originated in 2009, when for the first time polls began to show plurality support for legalization.”

Other supporters of a more liberal US drug policy also seized on the poll. They say this shows the drug war has failed, and that it’s time not only to ease up on social attitudes while bringing in much needed revenue for strapped government. “Polling now consistently shows that more voters support legalizing and regulating marijuana than support continuing a failed prohibition approach,” says Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “If the trends in public opinion continue in the direction they are going, the day is not far away when supporting a prohibition system that causes so much crime, violence, and corruption is going to be seen as a serious political liability for those seeking support from younger and independent voters.”

Enjoy more detail with the original story here.

[image: Google images polling]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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