(ANTIMEDIA) — A recent poll commissioned by an anti-cannabis group attempted to suggest that Americans don’t overwhelmingly want legalization, but the results actually show how unpopular federal prohibition has become.
Though Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) says it does not want to demonize cannabis and defines itself as a non-partisan group, it openly admits it campaigns against legalization.
This makes it unsurprising that despite its poll results, which found that 78% of Americans disapprove of current federal policy, they attempted to spin the findings as proof of dwindling support for access to the plant.
According to the press release about the survey, titled, “New National Poll Shows Support for Marijuana Legalization Dips Below 50% When Voters Are Given Other Policy Choices”:
“In the poll, 49% of likely voters supported legalization whereas 50% supported other policies. One percent were undecided.”
This is true, and it seems to indicate that the pro-legalization percentages from polls by organizations like Gallup skew high because those surveyed aren’t given other options to choose from.
“This poll shows that we need to move beyond this false dichotomy between prohibition and legalization, especially for individual users,” said Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., President of SAM. “These results clearly indicate the oft-touted vast public support for marijuana legalization has a shakier foundation than marijuana investors would have you believe. This should give pause to politicians and marijuana financiers alike.”
However, the other “options” in the survey were decriminalization, defined as “removing the possibility of jail time for possession and also allowing for medical marijuana, but keep the sale of marijuana illegal,” and legalizing “the use of marijuana for physician-supervised medical use.”
Between the 49% of respondents who advocate full legalization, the 29% who prefer medical legalization, and the 5% who support decriminalization, the poll overwhelmingly shows federal policies are not lining up with what the vast majority of people want.
According to the anti-cannabis group, 78% of people polled oppose current prohibition measures, suggesting the poll backfired despite the organization’s efforts to cast doubt on growing tolerance for marijuana.
Medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and federal drug laws still impose jail time and/or fines for individual users.