Majority of Americans Back Legalizing Marijuana

By Kenneth Garger 08/10/11

55% believe pot should be legal. But they're standing firm against heroin and coke.

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For the third consecutive year, most Americans support the legalization of marijuana, according to the annual Angus Reid Public Opinion poll. 55% of the 1003 American adults surveyed online agree cannabis should be legalized. But other drugs are viewed far less favorably. Just 10% of Americans think ecstasy should be legalized, with 9% for powdered cocaine, 8% for heroin and a paltry 7% for both crystal meth and crack cocaine. “Cannabis is definitely not seen as a substance that is as harmful as other illegal drugs, as evidenced in the minuscule level of support for the legalization of cocaine or heroin,” the report concludes. The mood of national opinion is mirrored by myriad celebrities. Proposition 19—California’s initiative to legalize marijuana across the board for those 21 years of age and older—was backed by rock singer Melissa Etheridge and actors Danny Glover and Hal Sparks, among many others, before ultimately being voted down in November 2010. Ironically, the most recent star to voice his support is actor Eric Roberts, who was featured in Season 4 of Celebrity Rehab for a longtime cannabis addiction. Even so,  he posted a video of himself on YouTube to make his point: "Pot remains illegal because no one has figured out how to make it profitable for the government yet," he said. "It's political, not protective.” We doubt that Janice Dickinson would agree.

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Ken Garger is a reporter for the New York Post. You can follow him on Twitter.