Pew Research Institute, one of the more respected polling firms in the nation, released its annual survey, and found that 52% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. For good reason, this number – indicating that a majority in the nation are in support – is what ruled the headlines. However, the polling also found that 72% of all Americans, including 67% of self-described Republicans, believe that federal enforcement of marijuana laws isn’t worth the cost.
The research found that regardless of someone’s political views, less than a third had the belief that federal marijuana laws are worth the widespread negative consequences. This is as much, if not more of an indication of the rapidly changing public opinion regarding marijuana reform than the fact that 52% support legalization.
These changing numbers are likely due in large part to the public’s changing perception regarding marijuana’s medical value, as well as people beginning to see past the absurd propaganda that has kept marijuana illegal. The new poll found that only 38% believe marijuana to lead to harder drugs, down from over 60% a few decades ago. The research also found that only 16% believe marijuana to have no medical value, with 77% believing that it’s a legitimate medicine.
All of these numbers are only going to rise as we move forward, and the public begins to further understand the necessity of reform.
Prohibition’s end is inevitable.