CNN Finds Most Americans Want to Legalize Pot, Demonstrating It Is Just As Unreliable As Gallup

Last October, after a
survey found
that 58 percent of Americans want to legalize marijuana, anti-pot
activist Kevin Sabet
the results must be wrong, because it was inconceivable
that so many people disagreed with him, and whoever heard of this
“Gallup Poll,” anyway? Just kidding. Sabet actually said Gallup’s
sample was too small, although it was just as big as the samples
used in two other surveys that he deemed more trustworthy (possibly
because they put support for legalization below 50 percent). Now
that in its latest poll 55 percent of respondents said
marijuana should be legal, while 44 percent said it should not. CNN
notes that the results “are similar to [those of] a Gallup poll
conducted in October.”

Sabet also complained that Gallup “asked about marijuana use,
not sales and production. CNN asked about
distribution as well as consumption, and 54 percent of respondents
said “the
sale of marijuana should be made legal. As I

pointed out
last fall, other recent polls likewise have found
majority support for legalizing the marijuana business. Apparently
Americans are not as terrified as Sabet thinks they should be by
the prospect of “Big

While it’s true that some recent polls do not find majority
support for legalization, the overall trend is unmistakable:

According to the CNN poll and numbers from General Social Survey
polling, support for legalizing marijuana has steadily soared over
the past quarter century—from 16% in 1987 to 26% in 1996, 34% in
2002, and 43% two years ago.

Gallup has
a similar increase:

Public support for legalization more than doubled in the 1970s,
growing to 28%. It then plateaued during the 1980s and 1990s before
inching steadily higher since 2000, reaching 50% in 2011.

Consistent with this trend, polls typically find an inverse
correlation between age and support for legalization. Here is the
age breakdown in the CNN poll:

Two-thirds of those 18 to 34 said marijuana should be legal,
with 64% of those 34 to 49 in agreement.

Half of those 50 to 64 believe marijuana should be legal, but
that number dropped to 39% for those age 65 and older.

Maybe the Gallup and CNN numbers exaggerate support for
legalization. Perhaps the 50 percent threshold won’t really be
crossed until next year or the year after. But one thing is clear:
Sabet is losing.

from Hit & Run

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