A very interesting new online survey has been released about how individuals want legal marijuana to be treated. What makes the poll so interesting is not so much the results but who the poll was conducted for, The Partnership for Drugfree.org.

The questions in the poll were basically a tactical admission by one of America’s largest and oldest anti-drug organizations that marijuana legalization is here to stay. Over the years the Partnership has been responsible for some of the most over the top anti-marijuana propaganda. Yet in their poll’s conclusion they admit that support for medical marijuana and full legalization is widespread so the challenge now is how to regulate it.

Amazingly, the poll doesn’t really focus on the question of if people want marijuana to be legalized, but instead on the question of how people want to see legal marijuana controlled. The poll questions were not about how to stop legalization but how to regulate it.

The basic finding of the poll is that while people believe a regulated legal marijuana market is better public policy than prohibition, that doesn’t mean Americans have become pro-pot. For example, the poll found that 90 percent of parents in Colorado and Washington State want marijuana to only be sold at specifically licensed marijuana retailers, and an even larger percentage believe marijuana should be subjected to the same bans as public smoking. Similarly, 80 percent of parents support a ban on all marijuana related advertising.

The actual poll results aren’t really news. This dynamic is why pro-legalization groups put forward initiatives that require a tightly regulated market.

What is surprising, though, is that even the big anti-drug groups are admitting the paradigm has shifted. All sides are starting to see marijuana legalization as inevitable.

Photo by prensa420 released under Creative Commons License