Poll: Americans side with states in pot laws

Marijuana legal legalize gavel crime justice medical generic CBS/iStockphoto

As the Obama administration decides how to deal with new laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize marijuana, a new survey from USA Today/Gallup shows that most Americans oppose government intervention to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws.

According to the survey, which interviewed 1,015 adults between November 26-29, 64 percent of Americans say the federal government should not take steps to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it has been legalized.

Voters in both Colorado and Washington voted on Election Day to legalize pot for casual use, and the law went into effect in Washington state last week. But possessing marijuana is still a violation of the Controlled Substances Act, a federal law, and the federal government hasn't yet said how it will respond to this conflict.

According to Gallup, people's views on how the government should react in this situation is largely defined on whether or not they believe marijuana should be legalized: Of those who say it should, only 12 percent said the government should take steps to enforce federal laws; of those who oppose legalization, 56 percent said so.

Respondents were divided on legalization in general, however, with 48 percent supporting it and 50 percent opposing it.

Meanwhile, in a new documentary by Sam Branson, the son of airline mogul Richard Branson, former President Bill Clinton essentially conceded that his administration's so-called war on drugs was unsuccessful.

"What I tried to do was to focus on every aspect of the problem. I tried to empower the Colombians for example to do more militarily and police-wise because I thought that they had to. Thirty percent of their country was in the hands of the narcotraffickers," Clinton says in the film, according to Politico. "Well obviously, if the expected results was that we would eliminate serious drug use in America and eliminate the narcotrafficking networks -- it hasn't worked."

Comments