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Marijuana Is The Only Drug Americans Want Legalized

(Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages)

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation

The vast majority of Americans are opposed to legalizing or decriminalizing any recreational drug other than marijuana.

The marijuana legalization movement has caught fire over the past five years with a string of successes, but widespread public support for a more relaxed stance on weed isn’t being replicated with any other illegal drug.

According to a Morning Consult poll conducted for Vox, 59 percent of Americans support decriminalizing marijuana and 52 percent say they are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. The data reflects similar finding from pollsters YouGov, Gallup and the Pew Research Center. (RELATED Poll: Majority Of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization)

The poll defined decriminalization as “no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for the first-time possession of a small amount of that drug for personal use.” Morning Consult polled 1,994 registered voters between March 10 and March 13, 2016.

None of the seven other currently illegal drugs that were part of the same poll recorded majority support for either decriminalization or legalization.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in four states, Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington. There are 11 states with a strong chance of legalizing in the next few years. Medical cannabis is legal in 23 states.

Some of the reasons for the marijuana legalization movement’s success are what supporters claim are the drug’s medical benefits, a decrease in crime and more tax revenue for state coffers.

These arguments, however, have failed to sway the public with regard to other illegal drugs such as crystal meth, heroin, LSD, and cocaine, according to the Vox and Morning Consult poll.

Heroin was found to be the most unpopular drug among those polled with 80 percent opposing decriminalization and 88 percent opposing legalization.

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