New Rasmussen polling revealing that “a solid majority of voters nationwide favor legalizing and regulating marijuana similar to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are currently regulated” is great news for cannabis activists and our country as it demonstrates that we are moving closer to finally ending cannabis prohibition. Not only is the Rasmussen polling promising, but it continues a recent trend of polling showing that the American people are tired of wasting law enforcement resources and their hard-earned tax dollars waging a war against non-violent citizens who utilize cannabis. This polling is a big uptick from the 47% support shown in a previous Rasmussen poll, the 50% support of the recent Gallup poll and it comes on the heels of Mason-Dixon polling showing that a super-majority of voters want states to decide their own medical cannabis laws without federal interference.
The Rasmusen polling is chock full of data that provides good news for those seeking an end to the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition. A solid 58% of likely voters stated that it should not “be a crime for people to smoke marijuana in their own home or the home of a friend.” Also, 56% of voters feel that cannabis should be regulated in a “similar manner to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are regulated today.” When some regulations are explicitly stated, such as it would be “illegal for people under 18 to buy, that those who drove while under the influence of marijuana received strict penalties, and that smoking marijuana was banned in public places like restaurants,” 57% of those polls agreed that they supported marijuana legalization.
Probably most compelling from this recent poll is the fact that regulating cannabis similar to alcohol and tobacco received majority support across all age groups: 50% of those 65 years of age and older demonstrated support; 54% of those between 40-64; and 61% of likely voters 18-39 support such legalization. This is the first time that I have seen such polling, particularly for those 65 and above. These results, combined with the recent trend in polls, shows that the futility of cannabis prohibition is finally overcoming decades of Reefer Madness propaganda.
While these polls are great news for activists across the country, particularly in states that will be voting on cannabis legalization this November (Colorado, Washington, likely Oregon), we must know that the work is far from over and that we must capitalize on our momentum. Please spread the word about and donate to organizations such as the National Cannabis Coalition and other organizations doing great work across the country. Changing cannabis laws across the country is within our grasp, but we must be the ones to do the hard work. Cannabis won’t legalize itself.