Most Americans think legal pot inevitable, poll finds

April 2, 2014

Three out of four Americans believe marijuana will one day be legal to buy and use anywhere in the United States, according to a public opinion poll released Wednesday.

Fifty-four percent of respondents to the Pew Research Center survey said should be legalized, compared to 42 percent who were opposed, the Washington-based pollsters reported.

When asked if they thought the sale and use of marijuana would eventually be legal nationwide, 75 percent responded yes—including those who oppose legalization.

"The public appears ready for a truce in the long-running war on drugs," said Pew in a summary of its findings, which appear on its website.

Colorado and Washington state have legalized pot for recreational use, while 21 states plus the District of Columbia allow marijuana to be prescribed for medical use.

But under federal law, marijuana is an illegal drug on a par with heroin and LSD—and in testimony Wednesday before Congress, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) favored sticking to that hardline stance.

"The fight against drug abuse is a generations-long struggle; it will not be won overnight," said Michele Leonhart as she appealed to the House of Representatives appropriations committee for a bigger DEA budget.

More pot-related ER visits

She said marijuana-related emergency department visits had jumped by 48 percent between 2007 and 2011—with marijuana only slightly trailing cocaine as the most-cited reason for .

Pew said it questioned 1,821 adults across the United States by telephone from February 14 to 23 for its survey, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Two out of three respondents thought the government should focus more on providing treatment for those who use hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine—and 63 percent welcomed the fact that some states have moved away from mandatory penalties for non-violent drug users.

On the other hand, 63 percent said they'd be bothered by people consuming marijuana in public, while four in ten said they would mind a marijuana retailer opening up shop in their neighborhood.

In another survey Wednesday, this time by websites WebMD and Medscape, 67 percent of doctors in the United States thought marijuana should be a medical option for patients.

Sixty-nine percent said it could help with certain treatments and conditions, such as seizure disorders, chronic pain resulting from cancer or physical injury, and nausea brought on by medication.

Support was strongest among oncologists and hematologists, with 82 percent in favor, while neurologists reported the highest number of patients who ask whether marijuana could help them.

WebMD and Medscape said they contacted 1,544 doctors for their joint survey, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points.

Explore further: More doctors than consumers favor legalizing medical marijuana: survey

Related Stories

More doctors than consumers favor legalizing medical marijuana: survey

April 2, 2014
(HealthDay)—The legalization of medical marijuana has more support among U.S. doctors than among consumers, a new survey found.

Survey: US teens using synthetic drugs less often

December 18, 2013
Fewer teens are trying fake marijuana known by such names as K2 and Spice, apparently getting the message that these cheap new drugs are highly dangerous, according to the government's annual survey on drug use.

Legalize pot, but not for teens, many US adults say

July 16, 2013
(HealthDay)—Most American adults who support marijuana legalization oppose legal marijuana use among children and teens, according to a new survey.

Lawmakers, US drug enforcers clash over marijuana rules

March 4, 2014
US lawmakers supportive of steadily relaxing state marijuana laws sparred Tuesday with Obama administration officials who continue to label pot in the same high-danger category as killer drugs like cocaine and heroin.

Colorado made $3.5 million in pot tax in first month

March 11, 2014
Marijuana sales in Colorado brought in $3.5 million in tax revenues and fees in the first month retail pot outlets were allowed, the western US state said Monday.

Assembly approves medical marijuana dispensaries

June 4, 2013
(AP)—Nevada lawmakers want to give medical marijuana users a legal way to obtain the drug 13 years after voters legalized medicinal pot in the state constitution.

Recommended for you

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.