Results released this month of a new Gallup poll of marijuana legalization supporters in America indicate that 60 percent of them view legalizing marijuana being “a matter of freedom and personal choice” as a very important reason for supporting legalization, while an additional 29 percent see this as a somewhat important reason.
Freedom and personal choice come in ahead of generating tax revenue, making marijuana safer through regulation, and believing marijuana is not harmful to its users as important reasons for legalizing. At the same time, it trails behind beliefs that people use marijuana for medical reasons and that legalization would free up law enforcement to focus on other crimes.
These results are good news for people who have hoped the growing support for marijuana legalization indicates that people have increasingly come to respect the right to grow, sell, possess, and use marijuana — instead of just supporting marijuana legalization for reasons based in pragmatism. A strong respect for freedom related to marijuana suggests a similar respect can develop in relation to other drugs and in regard generally to nonviolent, yet currently outlawed, choices people may make.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.