Majority of Americans Agree: Legalize Marijuana

Amber Iris Langston
October 24, 2011 | Amber Iris Langston
Gallup Inc. Poll trend graph

Courtesy of Gallup Inc.

This week marked a turning point in the history of cannabis legalization, when Gallup announced a poll showing that for the first time in history, a full majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana: 50% in support and 46% in opposition.  That’s an increase in support of 4% since last year and an astounding 14% increase from 5 years ago.

In the Midwest, including Missouri, support soared a full twelve percentage points – from 42% in favor in 2010 to a whopping 54% in 2011.

What’s going on here?

It’s hard to say exactly – there are likely as many factors in making the change as there are reasons to make it.   Ending prohibition will improve public safety and provide a new avenue for clean energy.  Patients need access to safe and affordable medicine, without having to go through Big Pharma.  People need jobs. Farmers need access to the United States’ $400 million +/year agricultural hemp market.  And state coffers need tax revenue.

My personal feeling is, people are frankly beginning to finally know the truth when it comes to cannabis – and prohibition.   In an age of increasing access to information, it’s no wonder that the veil of propaganda that once held our grandparents’ generation intellectually hostage, is finally being lifted.  In fact, we have seen the online community being the most aggressive in pushing our politicians to address the cannabis question.   And unfortunately, in typical fashion we have seen the federal government continue to ignore the will of the people by trampling state laws and seizing the property of private citizens and business owners.

Although the politicians may be way behind the citizens on this issue, there is no doubt that come November 2012, the issue of legalization will be far more popular to voters than most of the politicians who will ultimately be placed into office.   With strong efforts to legalize happening in California, Colorado, Missouri, Oregon and Washington next year, and with the truth on our side, anti-prohibitionists may finally get the political legitimacy in this country we deserve.

And THAT is something to be excited about this next election year.