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Draper v. United States

Marijuana Use And Drug Legalization

In 1973, on the heels of the drug-culture explosion that attended the late 1960s and early 1970s, the National Opinion Research Center asked a sampling of the population, "Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not?"

  • Eighteen percent answered that it should, 80 percent that it should not.
  • The percentage who wanted to legalize marijuana increased for each year up to and including 1978, when the ratio stood at 30:67.
  • Then the number in favor began to decrease, and from 1986 until 1991 it remained at or below the 1973 levels.
  • From 1991 the percentage in favor began to rise again, and by 1996 it was at 26 percent, the highest number since the high of 1978.

Interestingly, the Department of Health and Human Services' National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), found an overall decrease in drug use between 1985 and 1996.

  • In 1985, 16.3 percent of respondents claimed to have used an illicit drug during the preceding year, and 13.6 percent had smoked marijuana or hashish.
  • Eleven years later, however, only 10.8 percent in 1996 claimed to have used illicit drugs in the past year, and just 8.6 percent had smoked marijuana.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962Draper v. United States - Significance, Informant Provided "reasonable Grounds", Dissent Says Arrest Unlawful, Impact, Related Cases