We often hear about how every poll shows that a strong majority of Americans support marijuana legalization. But anti-cannabis organizations can still attack these polls and claim bias or other reasons to ignore them. However, it's pretty hard to ignore a poll showing people approve of marijuana legalization when the organization conducting it is anti-cannabis.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an organization that advocates against cannabis legalization, released a poll to determine how Americans feel about the current federal government policy towards the drug. According to the results, only 16 percent of Americans support keeping federal marijuana laws as they are now. 29 percent said they support legalizing medical marijuana nationally, five percent said they support decriminalization nationally and 49 percent said they support fully legalizing cannabis at the federal level.
Apparently SAM sees this poll as a victory for their movement. Instead of the usual numbers around 60 percent of Americans supporting marijuana legalization, this poll only shows it at 49 percent. So instead of a little more than half of Americans supporting cannabis legalization, it's only half of all Americans.
“These results clearly indicate the oft-touted vast public support for marijuana legalization has a shakier foundation than marijuana investors would have you believe,” Kevin Sabet, president of SAM, said in a statement. “This should give pause to politicians and marijuana financiers alike.”
Of course, there's another way to interpret the results that actually make SAM look like idiots. The largest group of people in the poll is the one who supports fully legalizing the drug. And a remarkable 84 percent of Americans, according to this poll, believe the federal government should institute a more lax marijuana policy.
The only thing this poll shows is that a mere 16 percent of people believe marijuana should be kept illegal at the federal level. If that's a victory for anti-cannabis groups, it's pretty sad.