In 1970, Gallup started polling on a new issue. Asking “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” Their first poll recorded 12% in support of legalization.
What happened the next year would prove the catalyst of a massive long-term shift in public opinion. President Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs, intensifying existent efforts to eradicate drug use and drug production. It would be the beginning of a expansive campaign, which has cost somewhere in the neighborhood of one trillion dollars. For comparison, the eight and a half year Iraq War only cost about $800 billion.