The public opinion on the matter of legalization of marijuana is slowly shifting in favor of it. A new study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that for the first time in more than 4 decades, Americans are moving in favor of the legalization of marijuana.
Approximately 50% of the respondents said that the use of marijuana should be made legal. That is in contrast to 45% of the respondents who continued to insist that it should remain illegal.
San José criminal defense attorneys have found that the war on drugs, including marijuana, has destroyed countless lives, and torn apart families, sending people to prison for committing minor offenses like possession of marijuana. In that context, it is encouraging to see the public opinion moving in favor of legalization of marijuana, because this could spur lawmakers towards legalization of the drug. This, in turn, will help reduce the number of people being sentenced to prison terms for marijuana-related offenses.
A number of states now legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, including California. Since 2010, according to the Pew Research Center, support for the legalization of marijuana has risen steadily. However, the increase in support has been dramatic since the late 1960s when the support for the legalization of the drugs was just about 12%.
The Pew Research Center survey involved 1,500 adults, and found that young people, not surprisingly, were most in favor of the legalization of marijuana. The Pew Research Center study also finds a change in public attitudes about the role of law enforcement in these matters. At least 72% of Americans in the study said that they believed that government efforts to enforce anti-marijuana laws are very expensive, and actually cost much more than they're worth. About 50% also believed that the federal government should not enforce federal laws against the use of marijuana in states like California, where it is legal to use marijuana for medical purposes.