A new Gallup and USA Today poll indicates that for the first time ever there is a super-majority of Americans public who want the feds to back off and let the states decide on how to deal with marijuana themselves. Via Raw Story:
A whopping 64 percent told Gallup that the federal government should not move to intervene in Colorado and Washington’s forthcoming marijuana regulations, which voters approved by wide margins on Election Day. Just 34 percent told pollsters they think the federal government should take action.
“This isn’t the first poll that shows voters want the government to let the states move forward,” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Raw Story. “We’re talking about multiple polls now, and they’re making it clear that most Americans do not want the federal government interfering in the implementation of state laws making marijuana illegal for adults.”
Pollsters segregated respondents into two groups: those in favor of keeping marijuana illegal, and those opposed. In the results, there appears to be some crossover from those who favor the drug war but also favor states rights, a key moral sticking point for many conservatives.
Interestingly, of those who still support prohibition, 43 percent said that the states should be left alone. A full 87 percent of those who oppose prohibition said they would rather the feds stay out of the states’ business.
Overall, Gallup said 48 percent of Americans think marijuana should be taxed and regulated for adult use, versus 50 percent who favor prohibition. Though that number is unchanged from Gallup’s 2011 poll on the same topic, it represents a dramatic shift from just 2005, when only about 35 percent of Americans favored legalization.
It’s starting to look like it’s high time for the Obama administration and the DoJ to step off. A slew of law-abiding, tax-paying cannabis dispensaries were closed down recently in downtown Los Angeles and Eagle Rock. It’s getting ridiculous. Furthermore, it’s clearly not politically advantageous with numbers like these to side against the will of the people, so why are they bothering?
It’s worth noting that George Bush was pretty non-committal during his two terms, when the medical marijuana movement really picked up steam. Obama needs to heed these polls and simply do the same, i.e. nothing. Letting legal cannabis flourish is a revenue enhancing move; it increases the tax base and creates new jobs. It frees up police resources, there all kinds of reasons to not make this an issue.
The main one is that no one is ever going to stop smoking pot because it’s illegal in the first place. Everyone knows this! It’s so easy for them to just do nothing.
A similar poll released by the Public Policy Polling group just last week saw similar results, with 58% saying that cannabis should be taxed and regulated similar to cigarettes and alcohol.