Majority of Americans support legalizing cannabis in some form

Majority of Americans support legalizing cannabis in some form

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

According to a new poll, nearly half of Americans support legalizing cannabis for social use, while a strong majority supported the idea of medical cannabis.

The latest Harvard-Harris Poll survey found 49 percent of Americans polled said cannabis should be legalized for both medical and social use. Thirty-seven percent say it should be legalized solely for medical purposes, showing 86 percent of respondents support legalizing the plant in some form.

Sixty-nine percent said it would not bother them if cannabis was legalized in their state, while fifty seven percent of respondents said legalizing cannabis would make society better. Seventy-two percent said even if cannabis is illegal, those convicted of possessing small amounts should not serve jail time.

“Voters point to drugs as the major source of crime and support tough sentences for drug dealers but view marijuana in a wholly different light,” said Harvard Harris co-director, Mark Penn.“Most think legalization of marijuana would probably be helpful in reducing crime and almost half support legalization.”

The Harvard-Harris Poll of 2,051 registered voters was conducted from July 19 to 24. Thirty-seven percent of voters participating were Democrat, 31 percent Republican, 27 percent independent, and 4 percent listed as “other.”