The good news is that almost half of America now supports the Tenth Amendment with respect to federal decriminalization of marijuana combined with letting states regulate and tax the controversial herb. NORML reports:
Nearly one out of two Americans support amending federal law “to let states legally regulate and tax marijuana the way they do liquor and gambling,” according to a national poll of 1,004 likely voters by Zogby International and commissioned by the NORML Foundation.
Forty-six percent of respondents — including a majority of those polled on the east (53 percent) and west (55 percent) coasts — say they support allowing states to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
As a pollster who follows marijuana reform issues, I find the demographics interesting:
Respondents’ support for marijuana law reform was strongly influenced by age and political affiliation. Nearly two-thirds of 18-29 year-olds (65 percent) and half of 50-64 year-olds think federal law should be amended to allow states the option to regulate marijuana, while majorities of 30-49 year-olds (58 percent) and seniors 65 and older (52 percent) oppose such a change.
Among those respondents who identified themselves as Democrats, 59 percent back taxing and regulating marijuana compared to only 33 percent of Republicans.
I understand the positive responses from the 18-29 year-olds, but was pleasantly surprised by the 50-64 year-old respondents. Anecdotally, it’s members of this latter group that have most often been the opposition on marijuana-related initiatives and legislation I’ve worked. I was also a bit surprised that a majority of people in my age group (30-49) were in opposition. As many in this class are parents, it’s a bit understandable, though. It’s just a shame they don’t realize that their children are the ones being hurt the most by our current radical and extreme drug policy.
Other data provide (emphasis added):
Forty-four percent of Independents and 85 percent of Libertarians say they supported the law change.
I’m concerned about the 15% of libertarians who didn’t support it. These are likely to be the types who won’t support incremental change of any sort. A related example of libertarian all-or-nothingism exists on aI ran in Alabama. At present, 38% oppose a state medical marijuana bill when I include this option:
No, the government should have no control over what substance someone takes
I’m pretty embarrassed about the 15%/38% of sampled libertarians who refuse to accept incremental reform measures.