CNN Poll: Support for legal marijuana soaring

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Washington (CNN) - In a major turnaround from past decades, a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, according to a new poll.

The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicated that the number of people who say smoking pot is morally wrong has plunged.



Fifty-five percent of those questioned nationally said marijuana should be made legal, with 44% disagreeing.

The CNN/ORC findings are similar to a Gallup poll conducted in October.

According to the CNN poll and numbers from General Social Survey polling, support for legalizing marijuana has steadily soared over the past quarter century – from 16% in 1987 to 26% in 1996, 34% in 2002, and 43% two years ago.

The survey found interesting divides on the issue.

"There are big differences on age, region, party ID, and gender, with senior citizens, Republicans, and Southerners the only major demographic groups who still oppose the legal use of pot," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Two-thirds of those 18 to 34 said marijuana should be legal, with 64% of those 34 to 49 in agreement.

Half of those 50 to 64 believe marijuana should be legal, but that number dropped to 39% for those age 65 and older.

Written By: CNN
continue to source article at politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com

25 COMMENTS

  1. Of course it should be legalised. We’re already allowed to screw up our lungs by sucking in the smoke from one type of drug-carrying burning vegetation so why not this one?

    It also has the added advantage of reducing any human to a giggling/soporific bore who can’t stop eating.

    …… maaaaan.

    • In reply to #2 by chunkimunki:

      It also has the added advantage of reducing any human to a giggling/soporific bore who can’t stop eating.

      …… maaaaan.

      It actually helps me function with better attention. When I smoke weed, I can stay on a subject or even read a whole page of a book, without rereading each sentence 5 or 6 times or forgetting I’m reading.

    • In reply to #3 by Rosbif:

      It should be mandatory for all war zones. The ultimate chemical weapon where everyone forgets why they’re there.

      Exept those that are prone to paranoia, they might wanna pop something that makes you a bit more chill.

  2. When I was using it I had a ground floor flat in West Hampstead and grew it in the garden, so it was unadulterated; ah, happy daze!

    I remember the first time I got stoned in the garden smoking the tips I’d pinched out of the plants to thicken them up, when a Bumble Bee which had settled on a flower near me appeared to be about twice the normal size, so I happily started telling it what a beautiful specimen it was; didn’t get a response!

    Perhaps it didn’t speak English. Or was homophobic and thought I might be gay. Or was just stuck up.

    My neighbour – this spell check is a product of American culturalism – anyway, my neighboUr heard me and looked over the wall, so I shared my delusion with him; he laughed like a drain!

    However, I eventually had a very bad trip; luckily by that time I’d learnt how to deal with that kind of situation, but I haven’t touched it since.

    As I understand it, what’s on the go nowadays can be deadly, but back in the day it really was “Mellow Yellow”; especially in Amsterdam where there was a cafe of that name, which a friend of mine who was a connoisseur would go to for “tastings”; or more accurately squeezings and smellings.

    • In reply to #5 by Stafford Gordon:

      As I understand it, what’s on the go nowadays can be deadly,

      NO! What are you talking about and how much did you actually smoke to imagine THC could be deadly or that the growers would want to?

      No wonder it’s such an uphill battle with vaccines if this is what can happen to a rational person who I’ve always assumed wasn’t watching Faux News style propaganda.

      • In reply to #7 by alaskansee:

        NO! What are you talking about and how much did you actually smoke to imagine THC could be deadly or that the growers would want to?

        One of the newer myths about weed. Some strains may be more potent than others and have a higher percentage of THC in them, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll OD on it.

        It is pretty much impossible to ingest a lethal amount of cannabis, which probably is why there in the history of mankind yet is no documented case of someone dying of mariujana poisoning.

      • In reply to #7 by alaskansee:

        In reply to #5 by Stafford Gordon:

        As I understand it, what’s on the go nowadays can be deadly,

        NO! What are you talking about and how much did you actually smoke to imagine THC could be deadly or that the growers would want to?

        No wonder it’s such an uphill battle with vaccines if this is what c…

        I was a regular, 5 or 6 joints a day man, up until a year ago. Actually just worked my way through a half O this past two weeks (you know, holidays and all). Can’t imagine how much I would have had to smoke back in the day to make it worth the while (everyone says it was weaker than today’s weed). Only ever had one freakout (if you can call it that) but there was some pre-drinking involved, which can really mess things up on the whoopsy scale.

        • In reply to #11 by aquilacane:

          Yes pre-drinking can beat the best of us! I’ve had a “whitie” myself but only twice.

          It’s funny you can kill yourself drinking too much alcohol, you can kill yourself drinking too much water but where do the stupid weed rumours come from, Reefer Madness?

          As far as my research shows the rumours of super weed are overstated but I will continue my tireless investigative efforts.

      • In reply to #7 by alaskansee:

        In reply to #5 by Stafford Gordon:

        As I understand it, what’s on the go nowadays can be deadly,

        NO! What are you talking about and how much did you actually smoke to imagine THC could be deadly or
        that the growers would want to?

        No wonder it’s such an uphill battle with vaccines if this is what c…

        Two points: firstly, it was the first time I’d smoked weed, my system wasn’t accustomed to it and I was alone; and two, I didn’t say “tetrahydrocannabinol could be deadly”, I never even mentioned it; I said quite clearly that my home grown stuff was “unadulterated”, and I distinguished unequivocally between then and now, when, as I understand it, the stuff gets cut, but by dealers not growers.

        Further, when I freaked, it was because someone had slipped me some shit cake, and having just given up smoking tobacco I was smoking neat joints as well; and to make things even worse I didn’t know anyone in the room, they were all strangers to me, and I had to wait for the hostess to appear so she could help me.

        So, essentially, both times I had a bad experience I was alone, which was inadvisable to say the least.

        I hope that that clarifies things.

        Now I’d better get off the subject before the mods turn up.

        S G

    • In reply to #8 by rjohn19:

      Very disappointed in my fellow seniors. If ever there was a “pot generation” it was the post-WWII baby boomers who sang a very different tune in the late 60′s.

      Sounds like the Twilight Zone episode – ‘Kick the Can’.

  3. I use weed to combat the mental and physical issues associated with liver disease/hepc.
    an anti-depressant was suggested by the veterans administration and although somewhat effective
    the sides are not tolerable or worth it to me and I will do virtually anything to avoid the veterans administration
    as it is my only choice for so called heath care.
    I also like to burn one before I hit the weight room. but that’s just me.
    bodybuilding and weed, my drugs of choice. Won’t give up either one

  4. The new – dare I say global? – trend towards legalization of Marijuana is quite promising and well overdue! I like in particular the hypocrisy of some people who have come forth to state that they once used to smoke Marijuana and are now against the legalization.

    Supporting legalization of Marijuana does not mean you are for people smoking it, it just means you are against people going to jail for smoking it. There are people in prison as we speak for the posession of Marijuana. That’s ludicrous!

  5. A few years ago I heard that Portugal legalized or at least decriminalized all recreational drug use. As it was explained to me, when the police there encountered heroin addicts then they would encourage them into treatment programs instead of into the court system.

    I’d like to hear about the various drug laws in other countries and how different approaches are faring there. Also, what are the treatment programs like in other countries? The American drug rehab system is a complete disaster at this point. The great majority follow the 12 step/ disease model and are permeated with religion and moralizing. The stats that report on their effectiveness are downright depressing. Not to mention the cruelty of our medical insurance system here which keeps people out of rehabs and detox clinics if they don’t have the luck in life of having a good job that give its employees a cushy medical insurance plan. We have heroin addicts here who can’t get into rehab because there are not enough beds and/or because they have no insurance.

    I’m not implying that pot heads need treatment! The rehabs deal with heroin, cocaine and meth addicts, which are not the topic here, but it should be noted that many of the people who are dead set against legalization of weed just don’t see the difference between that and any other drug. They do believe it’s a gateway substance and they are very fearful of drug addiction because the rehab system is so ineffective and downright frightening here in the US.

    I realize that the people who oppose legal weed are just in need of some sensible explanation of the facts and I hope that will be forthcoming, but has anyone seen the ridiculous management of this situation by the media? Between the air coverage that’s given to heroin addicts claiming that pot was their gateway drug and the true disaster that is our rehab system here it’s no wonder we have so many people who are petrified of pot.

    • In reply to #20 by LaurieB:

      The great majority follow the 12 step/ disease model and are permeated with religion and moralizing.

      What are you basing that on? Your personal experience or some actual data? Because if it’s just anecdotal then my anecdotal evidence conflicts with it. I’ve participated in some 12 step programs both as a participant and a (very bad) counsillor and I’ve never found them to be judgemenal. Just the opposite. They always focus on addiction as a disease. They do encourage you to take personal responsibility for your actions which IMO is rational not judgemental.

      And the same goes for the “higher power” stuff. Virtually everyone I’ve ever met who was using the 12 step approach was very clear that the higher power didn’t have to be God much less the Christian God. It could be hope, caring for loved ones, a belief in science and rationality, whatever works for you. In fact “whatever works” is pretty much the philosophy I find in most 12 step programs.

      I’m not saying 12 step programs are perfect, far from it, I don’t think the idea that abstinence is the only path for everyone necessarily makes sense. I also think there is still a lot of hypocrisy in these programs and the mental health profession. They will say you are still showing addictive behavior by smoking a bit of pot to relax at the end of the day but in the next breath they will prescribe far stronger anti-depressants that they essentially WANT you to get addicted to.

  6. In reply to #21 by Red Dog:

    What are you basing that on? Your personal experience or some actual data?

    Both, actually. I have a close family member who is a 10 year heroin addict. I’m the caregiver. That’s the personal experience part of it. For the data I will recommend a book that came out last year titled Inside Rehab by Anne Fletcher. In this book Fletcher has done a good broad analysis of the rehab industry and presents data from a couple of US gov. sponsored studies. I would be very happy to point you in the direction of that data, and I will get that information for you as soon as the next copy of that book arrives to me from Amazon. I buy this book, used, for a very reasonable price there and give it to people who need the information contained in it. There is a copy on the way and will be here any day now. Meanwhile, I found this video from HuffPo with the author Anne Fletcher in discussion with a few other contributors discussing Science/evidence based addiction therapies so that you can get the gist of the book and see what you think about it. Sorry if my link isn’t clickable. Still can’t get that to happen correctly.

    http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/addiction-therapy-alcoholics-anonymous/511ad1a5fe34442eca000099

    In fact “whatever works” is pretty much the philosophy I find in most 12 step programs.

    I would probably be willing to go along with “whatever works” in most cases. Not all cases though. Some of the 12 step rehabs are very heavy on the the “Jesus saves” component and I see teens coming out of them in a state of zombie-like brainwashing that got drugs out of their lives but replaced it with something else that frightened me. There are other “therapeutic techniques” that are ethically repugnant at best and downright dangerous in some cases. “Breaking down” a patient who shows any cocky resistance to the program is a sad thing to do to anyone and as Fletcher found, is exactly what the female addicts don’t need since they’re usually so ground down into the dirt by the circumstances of their addiction that to finally get into a rehab therapy and then be broken down even more can have life threatening results to these women. They need to be built up and restored, not victimized further than they already are. It’s abuse.

    The higher power element of that program is an excruciating joke with the young people at this point. Even for older addicts they often explain it with a roll of the eyes. Why does this program persist with this archaic idea? It was probably fine some decades ago but with the movement away from religion by our young people, the concept is now simply embarrassing especially in the face of the current research on what works and what doesn’t work. People who attend AA often tell me that it’s not religious but I’ve attended plenty of meetings as a guest, and to an atheist, they are permeated with religion and moralistic preaching. Reminded me of the Methodist church actually! I have to think that the members of AA who are religious or at least spiritual, don’t notice the amount of religion that is part of the program and on display at the meetings because they are so used to religion being part of their lives and can’t figure out what the secular-freethinker-atheist bunch are complaining about.

    As Fletcher points out in her book and in this clip, “whatever works” is not something an addict is likely to hear in an AA based 12 step program or rehab. It’s basically their way or the highway.

  7. I love to smoke (vaporize) and read, or before weight training. I think it’s natural for people to seek a release and marijuana is a lot less harmful than alcohol. Any drug can be abused and lots of people do not get the same benefits as I do. We need to educate people and cut out the criminal element. It’s only a matter of time I think. I would love to be able to grow a few plants and not worry.

  8. Any drug that can manipulate your reward circuitry and establish false rewards in your conscience, is potentially dangerous
    and therefore I for one would not support them.
    That said we should be looking into banning Alcohol and Cigarettes from entering into new consumers.
    To only allow these products to those who are already addicted to them.

    p.s. I’m not saying that this is going to be popular or pleasant for many people.

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