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Politics Podcast: Americans Think The War On Drugs Failed. Do Politicians Agree?

Should marijuana be legal in the United States? Over the past 20 years, Americans’ have reversed their views on that question to a degree rarely seen in politics. In 2001, 34 percent of Americans said yes, according to Gallup. Today it’s 68 percent. A breadth of polling suggests a majority of Americans now favor either decriminalizing all drug use or significantly changing the punishment for it.

While there has been some bipartisan movement on the issue, politicians don’t seem to be walking entirely in step with Americans. As Congress considers legislation that would decriminalize marijuana and end the sentencing disparity for crack and cocaine offenses, Galen Druke speaks with FiveThirtyEight contributor Lester Black about what Americans think should be done about drugs and how politicians are responding.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.