A new poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center shows a growing majority of Americans support ending marijuana prohibition. The national survey of more than 1,200 U.S. adults found 57% think the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 53% last year and 32% in 2006. Just 37% think it should remain illegal, down from 44% last year and 60% in 2006.
The news comes just as voters in three states have begun to vote on ballot initiatives to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. Early voting begins in Arizona today, and it began in Maine and counties throughout California earlier this week. Massachusetts and Nevada will begin voting on similar measures next week.
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“Marijuana prohibition laws were founded upon misinformation, so it comes as little surprise that support for them is now eroding so quickly,” says Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “There is more credible information out there than ever before, and it has become increasingly accessible over the past decade. As people learn that marijuana is not as dangerous as they were once led to believe, they tend to be supportive of taking a new approach. Now that they know this substance is actually less harmful than alcohol, they want to see it treated that way.”
“Voters from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine are standing up and saying enough is enough. States around the country are rolling back prohibition laws and adopting more sensible marijuana policies,” Tvert continues in his statement. “It would be nice if the Congress would pick up the pace at the federal level, but in the meantime the states will just have to continue to take the lead.”
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