Majority Wants To Treat Pot Like Alcohol

Careful whom you trust to interpret poll results. A national poll was released on April 20 which showed that a majority of Americans supports legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol — but you’d never know that from the headlines and coverage that ensued.

The headlines about the Associated Press/CNBC poll (PDF) on marijuana legalization read “Most In U.S. Against Legalizing Pot,” but when Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grim looked closer at the results, he found a different story.

Context is everything. It turns out when pot is compared to alcohol, there’s a surge in support for reforming the laws.

Forty-four percent of respondents said “the regulations on marijuana [should] be the same as those for alcohol.” And another 12 percent said marijuana regulations should be “less strict,” meaning a full 56 percent support changing marijuana policy — perhaps the highest number ever recorded in favor of legalization.

Kind of odd, wouldn’t you say? The results of a nationwide poll, in a tidal shift of public opinion, show that a substantial majority — 56 percent of Americans — support either the same or looser restrictions on marijuana than on alcohol, which is, of course, already legal (except in certain “dry counties” in the Deep South).

But somehow, that gets reported in the national press as “Most In U.S. Against Legalizing Pot”? It’s no wonder the potheads get a little paranoid sometimes.

“Interesting results, indeed, and it’s too bad this bit got buried in most coverage of this week’s marijuana polls,” Tom Angell of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) told me.

The poll of 1,000 Americans was taken by polling firm GfK Roper for CNBC’s “Marijuana & Money” report. The margin of error was 4.3 percentage points.

By a 2-1 margin, respondents said that if pot were legal, they would favor allowing the government to tax sales of cannabis.

A CBS News poll, also released April 20, showed 55 percent of voters on the American West Coast favor legalizing marijuana.

And a new SurveyUSA poll has the California cannabis legalization initiative up 56-42, with support strongest among those 18 to 34. Voters older than 65 oppose it 54-39; unfortunately, they are also the most likely to vote in the upcoming midterm election.

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3 Responses to Majority Wants To Treat Pot Like Alcohol

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    +1 Vote -1 Vote +1uberVU - social comments

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1ElectroPig
    April 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I think that anyone who’s given this issue any SERIOUS and HONEST thought, they know that there’s absolutely no need for any new taxes on cannabis/hemp whatsoever. Let me restate that: NO NEED WHATSOEVER FOR ANY NEW TAXES!

    No need for new regulatory bodies. No need for new “government employees” which are only a drain on the rest of society. No need for even a single line of new “tax code” at all.

    The savings in policing, courts, and prisons alone would save BILLIONS of dollars, and that in itself would be benefit enough to justify ending prohibition TODAY.

    Only the wilfully ignorant and the GREEDY think that they need to find new ways to rape the public with new taxes…and eventually, even the wilfully ignorant will see that the truth stands on it’s own merit.

    Always remember…even a lie which has been offered a million times, and accepted without question for decades, is eventually found to be a lie. That is the point where things can finally be changed.

  3. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1chris zio
    April 29, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I’ve seen lots of those fake headlines, the poll taken was obviously skewed by the particular viewing audience. Let’s see one from a radio show like the BJ show on KISW, just as a “fair” comparison, I’ll bet it’s higher than the reported 44% who favors treating pot like alcohol or smokes and taxing the hell out of it.

    Those headlines makes you wonder who are “they” trying to fool in today’s information-laden world comprised of adults that read more than one headline and never rely on a single source for their opinionated data on anything.

    The re-legalization of pot for the consumer who wants something other than asprin for their aches and wants to be able to buy it at safeway is now.

    Remember- It was legal once and the world didn’t end so quit trying to tell us it will.