Thursday, April 04, 2013

Poll Watch: Pew Research Survey on Marijuana Legalization

Pew Research Poll on Pot Legalization  

Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not? 
  • Yes, legal 52% 
  • No, illegal 45% 
Among Democrats 
  • Yes, legal 59% 
Among Republicans 
  • Yes, legal 37% 
Among Independents
  • Yes, legal 60% 
Among Men
  • Yes, legal 57%
Among Women
  • Yes, legal 48%
Age 18-29
  • Yes, legal 64% 
Age 30-49
  • Yes, legal 55% 
Age 50-64
  • Yes, legal 53%
Age 65+
  • Yes, legal 33%
Do you agree or disagree that, for most people, the use of marijuana leads to the use of hard drugs? 
  • Agree 38%
  • Disagree 58% 
Do you agree or disagree that government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth?
  • Agree 72%
  • Disagree 23% 
Do you think marijuana does or does not have legitimate medical uses? 
  • Does 77%
  • Does not 16% 
As you may know, some states have decided to allow marijuana use, but it is still prohibited under federal law. Do you think the federal government should or should not enforce federal marijuana laws in these states?  
  • Should 35%
  • Should not 60%
Keeping in mind that all of your answers in this survey are confidential, have you, yourself, ever happened to try marijuana?  
  • Yes 48%
  • No 51%
National survey of 1,501 adults was conducted March 13-17, 2013. The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percentage points. Party ID: 33% Democrat; 26% Republican; 34% Independent.

Inside the numbers: 
Only about three-in-ten conservative Republicans (29%) say marijuana use should be legal. Moderate and liberal Republicans are far more likely than conservatives to favor legalization (53%).
Like Republicans, Democrats are ideologically divided over legalizing marijuana. While 73% of liberal Democrats favor legalizing use of marijuana, only about half of conservative and moderate Democrats agree (52%).
Fully 70% of those who have ever tried marijuana, including 89% of those who have tried it in the past year, say the use of marijuana should be legal. That compares with just 35% of those who have never tried marijuana.
More than half of young people (56%) say they have ever tried marijuana, and 27% say they have tried it in the past year – by far the highest percentage in any age category.
About half of those 30-49 (51%) and 50-64 (54%) have ever tried marijuana, although only about one-in-ten did so last year. Just 22% of adults 65 and older have ever used marijuana, including 2% who say they have used it in the past year.
Men are more likely to say they have tried marijuana than women, 54% vs. 42%. Half of whites and blacks (50%) say they have ever tried marijuana, compared with 34% of Hispanics.
Democrats and Republicans are about equally likely to say they have tried the drug over their lifetimes, 47% vs. 43%; independents are somewhat more likely to have used it (53%). However, over the past year, more independents (14%) and Democrats (13%) than Republicans (7%) to say they have used marijuana.

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