According to a new Gallup Poll 50% of Americans now support legalizing Marijuana, up from 46% last year. This marks the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1969 that supporters exceeded those in opposition.
When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12% of Americans favored it, while 84% were opposed. Support remained in the mid-20s in Gallup measures from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but has crept up since, passing 30% in 2000 and 40% in 2009 before reaching the 50% level in this year's Oct. 6-9 annual Crime survey.
Despite the recent efforts by the Department of Justice to close medical marijuana dispensaries in California and efforts by the IRS to strip marijuana dispensaries of legitimate business deductions the American public, more than ever, supports legalization.
With the poor economy and a perceived lack of resources to support popular programs like Social Security and Medicare, it only makes sense to legalize, tax and regulate the use of Marijuana in a fashion similar to that of alcohol and tobacco.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States." The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009 found that "16.7 million Americans aged 12 or older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed, an increase over the rates reported in all years between 2002 and 2008."
We cannot continue to waste the resources of our law enforcement officials, courts and prisons to continue to arrest and incarcerate our otherwise law-abiding citizens. Marijuana related arrests in 2010 reached a staggering 853,358 arrests with more than 20 million Americans arrested since the 1960's
It's time for a common sense approach to Marijuana prohibition. Prohibition didn't work and the War on Drugs™ has been a dismal failure.
Please visit the White House Petitions website and add your signature to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol. This petition is the most popular petition on the website and now has more than 57,938 supporters. You only have until October 22 to add your signature!