There are numerous polls out there that show support for marijuana legalization. Grassroots legalization campaigns point to them all the time. Something that I offer up to people that cite those polls is that while people might support marijuana legalization in general, support can go up or down depending on the details of the legalization proposal. There has been majority support for legalization in California for awhile now, but efforts there fail because the details of the efforts drag down support from the public.
This is why getting solid language into an initiative is vital, and polling it is also vital to see what, if any, parts of the initiative need to be deleted or improved. That’s what happened in Oregon in 2012. The campaign did a great job of gathering signatures, but the initiative was written so poorly that it didn’t win on Election Day. The initiative still could have passed had Oregon not been abandoned by national organizations and funders, but I’ll save that rant for another article.
A poll recently released by the Huffington Post showed that one detail gets a lot of support from voters. Support for legalizing marijuana in the privacy of one’s home received huge support:
Americans are even more likely to support making it legal for a person to use marijuana in their own home. Sixty-six percent of Americans said that it should be legal to smoke pot in a private residence, including 72 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of independents. Even Republicans tended to say that smoking marijuana in a private residence should be legal, by a margin of 50 percent to 39 percent.
Support for legalizing marijuana for public consumption did not poll very well at all. Only 15% of poll participants said they would support it. I haven’t seen too many efforts calling for legalization of public consumption, but I have seen a few, and I think it’s safe to say that such a proposal is unlikely to succeed. I don’t need to be able to smoke at a public park. If I can just legally consume marijuana in the privacy of my own home, or at another private location, that’s just about all I would need!