50 Percent of Americans Say Legalize Pot, a 'Record High'

An activist calling for an end to cannabis prohibition participates a rally in Lafayette Square across from the White House. Credit: Bill Clark/Roll Call

Gallup has been asking Americans since 1969 whether pot should be legal. A majority has always said no – until now: a new poll has 50 percent of Americans in favor, with 46 opposed. Support for legalization has been ticking up since the late nineties (in 1969, only 12 percent were in favor, and that number didn't crack 30 percent until 2000), and if the trend keeps up, notes Gallup, "pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes." That might be a ways off, though, since, as the LA Times reminds, in June the Obama administration said that marijuana would remain classified as Schedule 1 drug (meaning the government considers it as dangerous as heroin) because it "has a high potential for abuse" and "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." (That last point is up for debate, of course; ask the 70 percent of Americans who are OK with doctors prescribing marijuana to ease pain and suffering.)

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