On May 12, 2012, a nationwide Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted. Those surveyed were asked a number of questions about marijuana, alcohol, and drugs.
One of the questions asked, “Would you favor or oppose legalizing marijuana and regulating it in the similar manner to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are regulated today?” The results showed that 56% of those surveyed approved of legalizing marijuana and regulating it similarly to tobacco and alcohol. Only 36% of likely voters were opposed to the legalization of marijuana.
58% of likely voters were in favor of legalizing marijuana if it is to be sold in registered pharmacies. Despite the support, those voters did not think that having marijuana legalized and in pharmacies would have a positive influence in reducing the number of people under the age of 18 who use the drug.
In addition, the survey found that the majority of Americans also do not believe that it should be a crime for people to smoke marijuana in their homes.
Another question asked if states should be able to override federal law if they believe a drug is useful for its citizens and would like to sell in in pharmacies despite a lack of FDA approval. 52% of likely voters believed that if a state government feels a drug has benefits in some circumstances, it should be able to approve sale of that drug within its borders even though the FDA already has denied approval.
While public opinion demonstrated by this survey is strong, it unfortunately has little to no impact on the actions and priorities of the Obama administration and the federal government. Medical marijuana crackdowns are at an all-time high throughout the country, and many states that are proposing legalization of recreational or medical marijuana are facing push back from other lawmakers.