Pubdate: Wed, 23 Oct 2013
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2013 Los Angeles Times
Author: Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times


Here is a short list of things that, according to Gallup, are less 
popular with Americans than the idea of legalizing pot:

Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court. The president.

In a sweeping cultural shift, comparable perhaps to Americans' 
quickening support of same-sex marriage, a majority of Americans now 
favor legalizing marijuana use, according to a Gallup poll released 
Tuesday. The survey showed that 58 percent of 1,028 respondents 
supported legalization, with 39 percent against.

That's a drop for the naysayers from just three years ago, when 50 
percent of respondents opposed legalization - a number already riding 
a long plummet from a high of 73 percent in the 1990s.

Gallup credited much of the surge to political independents, whose 
support for legalization jumped from 50 percent to 62 percent in less 
than a year.

The Gallup poll didn't quiz respondents on why, exactly, they've 
gotten behind pot use. But the shift can't solely be attributed to 
personal drug use.

In August, 38 percent of Gallup respondents said they had tried 
marijuana. That's the highest number ever recorded by a Gallup 
survey, and yet it's only an incremental increase for a figure that 
has remained in the mid-30s since the 1980s.

Americans older than 65 remain the only age group that opposes 
marijuana legalization, with 53 percent against. Support grows 
stronger with each younger generation, with 18- to 29year-olds 
supporting legalization 67 percent to 31 percent.

The Gallup poll on marijuana was based on telephone interviews 
conducted Oct. 3-6, 2013, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a 
random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 
U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling 
error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom