National Geographic : 2010 Nov
PHOTO: PAUL WELLMAN. CHART: LAWSON PARKER, NGM STAFF SOURCE: PEW RESEARCH CENTER FOR THE PEOPLE & THE PRESS HEALTH Reefer Referral Here's a sign that the times are a changin': Nearly three out of four Americans say they favor legalizing medical marijuana in their state, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey. And 41 percent think all marijuana should be legal, up from 35 percent in 2008 and 12 percent in a 1969 Gallup poll. Pot has become political in recent years. This summer Congress let the District of Columbia join a dozen-plus states with medical- marijuana laws on the books. Proponents say legalization will create tax revenues and save money on enforcement. And the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association have endorsed research on the plant's makeup. Issued for glaucoma and to help cancer patients deal with chemotherapy, cannabinoids like THC are also being probed for anticancer properties. All of which means aging hippies aren't alone. The Pew poll found backing for medical marijuana across the political spectrum and all age groups---a clear sign that tolerance is growing. ---Alex Dominguez Men Gender Ethnicity Age Education Political affiliation Women White In favor Opposed Don't know Black Hispanic 18-29 30-49 50-64 65+ College graduate Some college High school or less Republican Democrat Independent A minimum of 61% of all groups are in favor. 100% Approval in the U.S. for medical marijuana 2010 Medical marijuana like this is federally supplied to only a handful of patients.