A new national poll found that the majority of Americans favor legalizing and regulating marijuana in the way that cigarettes and alcohol are currently regulated. In the telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters, 56 percent of respondents favored legalization and regulation.
Some experts say that the poll is consistent with the overall trend of rising acceptance of marijuana use. They argue that it is time to shift the debate from whether or not marijuana should be legalized to how it should be done.
Pro-legalization groups have seized on the survey as evidence that the Obama administration’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries is not consistent with the public’s wishes.
Critics, however, have dismissed the survey, arguing that it posed leading questions. David Evans, special advisor to the Drug Free America Foundation, cited question 10 as an example: “As long as they don’t do anything to harm others, should individuals have the right to put whatever drugs or medication they want into their own bodies?”
“This is a clearly very biased finding,” Evans said. “They’ve asked leading questions to get the responses they wanted.”
Rasmussen Reports, the firm that conducted the survey, denies this charge. “This survey tested whether legalization and regulation generated more support than legalizing and taxing,” said Rasmussen spokesperson Beth Chunn. “It did.”
Do you think the report was biased?