That question may be a bit misleading, suggests Reason Online blogger Jacob Sullum. "The phrase 'the government's effort to legalize marijuana' makes it sound as if this is something that's already happening, which makes the idea seem more realistic and credible."
Also, the poll surveyed 3,937 voters whose political identities followed the outcome of the last presidential election – 54 percent were President Obama supporters and 46 percent voted for Sen. John McCain. "This sample may be skewed in a pro-reform direction if, as seems plausible, left-leaning Americans were especially motivated to vote in the last presidential election, while conservatives were dispirited," he wrote.
Nonetheless, "It's in line with building support for marijuana legalization in other surveys," Mr. Sullum acknowledged.
The Zogby findings follow last month's ABC News/Washington Post survey that found 46 percent support for decriminalizing marijuana. And a California Field Poll published April 30 said that 56 percent of state residents were OK with marijuana becoming a taxed and regulated commodity.
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, (D) from San Francisco, has proposed legislation to begin treating marijuana like alcohol – giving anyone over 21 the right to use it but taxing it heavily. Taxing marijuana, supporters of Mr. Ammiano's bill say, could bring the cash-strapped state $1.3 billion annually. Already the state collects about $18 million annually from medical marijuana.