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This particular pole is the first that Gallup has conducted since the passing of Washington’s Initiative 502 and Colorado’s Amendment 64. Whether the recent memorandum released by the United States Department of Justice outlining their new drug enforcement guidelines has played a major role in the latest shift in support for the ending of the federal embargo of marijuana is debatable, but it sure couldn’t have hurt.
“The dramatically increasing support for making marijuana legal should come as no surprise. Marijuana prohibition has been an abject failure. Most Americans realize it is unjust, wasteful, and counterproductive to invest in the criminalization of adults for using a substance that is far less harmful than alcohol,” Rob Kampia, Marijuana Policy Project’s executive director avowed.
In the 1970s, support for the legalization of marijuana more than doubled reaching a then record high of 28 percent. During the 1980s and 1990s legalization support percentages all but leveled off with fluctuations of just a few points before slowly increasing since 2000, reaching a then record high of 50 percent in October 2011.
“It is time for Congress to take this issue head on. It should no longer be considered scary or troublesome to speak out in support of more sensible marijuana policies. We need to put marijuana prohibition behind us, and our leaders need to step up to move things forward,” Kampia declared.
Another noteworthy piece of datum is the 38 percent of the 1,028 registered voters that were polled admitting to having tried marijuana for the first time in 2013. We can only hope the latest poll means we’re actually Gallup-ing toward an end to this antiquated war on otherwise law-abiding citizens. Giddy up!