Nearly 70% of Americans support decriminalizing the possession and use of marijuana, according to a new Reason-Rupe poll released this morning. The poll also found that an incredibly low percentage of Americans – literally just 6% – support putting someone in jail for consuming or possessing marijuana, indicating that 94% in the U.S. would like a fundamentally different approach to marijuana than what the U.S. government has put forth with their continuation of its prohibition.
During the research, which was conducted by Princeton Research Associates International, the question was asked: “Which approach do you think government and law enforcement should take toward someone found smoking marijuana or in possession of a small amount of marijuana?” As-mentioned, only 6% of respondents stated that the possession and consumption of marijuana should be punishable with jail – 20 percent said it should result in mandatory substance abuse counseling. Of the remainder, 67% believe that consumption and possession of cannabis should either carry with it no penalty at all, or a maximum of a ticket. New Poll: Only 6% in U.S. Support Jail-time for Marijuana Possession, 67% Support Decriminalization
In addition, the poll found that a majority of Americans support legislation to “prevent the federal government from prosecuting people who grow, possess, or sell marijuana in the states that have legalized it.” 52% of respondents said they support such protections for both medical and recreational marijuana, while 42 percent said they would oppose such protections.
These numbers come at an important time, as federal lawmakers consider bipartisan legislation which would end marijuana prohibition in the U.S., allowing states to decide their own marijuana policies.