Market Overview

Are Americans Ready to Rock the Ganja?


A new survey by prestigious polling company Gallup shows that more Americans support legalizing marijuana than ever before.

According to their polling, 50 percent of Americans are now in favor of legalizing marijuana for personal use, up four percent from last year. On the other side, 46 percent of Americans are joy-killing, nanny-state busybodies who believe they have the right to control what you do with your body.

That's right, folks. Marijuana is still illegal because random, old church ladies don't want you to have any fun. Not that the prohibition laws stop anyone from partaking in green goodness. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that, "Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States."

Abused? Please. Tylenol is the most abused drug in America. Alcohol is the most abused drug in America. Tobacco is the most abused drug in America. Marijuana? Can you even abuse it? I know a lot of marijuana smokers; I don't know any marijuana addicts.

The last National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009 found that 16.7 million Americans, age 12 and up, had used marijuana at least once in the previous 30 days. That's 16.7 million people in favor of legalization, right there...and that doesn't even count the people who lied to the study about their own personal use. Plenty of people (studies try to estimate it) do not want to tell pollsters that they hold unpopular beliefs or that they engage in behavior that might be judged negatively.

Looking more closely at the data, there are some interesting trends to consider. Let's explore the subgroups. The percent listed is the percent of that subgroup that supports legalizing marijuana.

Political Leanings/Identification

  • Liberals: 69
  • Moderates: 57
  • Independents: 57
  • Democrats: 57
  • Republicans: 35
  • Conservatives: 34


  • West: 55
  • Midwest: 54
  • East: 51
  • South: 44

Age Cohort

  • 18 to 29 years: 62
  • 30 to 49 years: 56
  • 50 to 64 years: 49
  • 65+ years: 31

In other words, the only people who are majority against marijuana legalization are really old, really conservative, right-wing Republican southerners. Funny how THAT keeps happening. Pick a problem, and they're the ones blocking progress.

For now, the numbers are great news for those of us who believe freedom and privacy includes the right to do with my body what I choose: drink or drugs, smoke or not, healthy food or Filet o' Fatness from McDonalds.

You can reach the author by email or on twitter @johndthorpe. You can also subscribe for my free newsletter here.

To comment on this (or any of my columns), visit my user page at Benzinga.

Posted-In: gallup marijuanaNews Politics Legal General Best of Benzinga


Related Articles

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Yahoo! Rises on Q3 Earnings Beat

Intel's Profit Rises in Tandem With Healthy Revenue