Gallup: Record Number Of Americans Now Say They Support Marijuana Legalization

The latest national poll numbers from Gallup, which has been tracking public opinion on cannabis legalization since the late 1960s, shows that Americans’ support for ‘making marijuana legal’ is now at its highest reported level of support ever.

New High of 46% of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana
Liberals, 18- to 29-year-olds express the highest levels of support
via Gallup.com

While California’s marijuana ballot initiative is garnering a lot of attention this election cycle, Gallup finds that nationally, a new high of 46% of Americans are in favor of legalizing use of the drug, and a new low of 50% are opposed. The increase in support this year from 44% in 2009 is … a continuation of the upward trend seen since 2000.

These results are from Gallup’s annual Crime poll, conducted Oct. 7-10. Approximately 8 in 10 Americans were opposed to legalizing marijuana when Gallup began asking about it in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Support for legalizing the drug jumped to 31% in 2000 after holding in the 25% range from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.

Political Leanings, Age Divide Americans’ Support for Legalizing Marijuana

Across numerous subgroups, liberals’ support, at 72%, is by far the highest. There is widespread support for legalization among 18- to 29-year-olds (61%) as well.
Majority support is also found among Democrats, independents, men, and political moderates.

A large majority of those living in the West, which encompasses California, are in favor of making the drug legal. Support is significantly lower in the South and Midwest.

Political conservatives and Republicans are the least supportive of legalizing marijuana. Seniors express a similarly low level of support.

Women are 10 percentage points less likely than men to favor legalizing the drug.

These demographic, political, and ideological differences in support are much the same as they were in 2009.

Bottom Line

Support for making the drug legal in general, however, is growing among Americans. The public is almost evenly split this year, with 46% in favor and 50% opposed. If the trend of the past decade continues at a similar pace, majority support could be a reality within the next few years.

The latest Gallup numbers reinforce the question: ‘If a government’s legitimate use of state power is based on the consent of the governed, then at what point does marijuana prohibition — in particular the federal enforcement of prohibition — become illegitimate public policy?’ It’s time for our elected officials to answer.

69 thoughts

  1. It is time for the euphora phobics to hit the back burner nation wide and walk into an age of true liberty and quit persecuting people because they want to use a safer alternative treatment for the conditions that ail them.

    Kind of sad to say it this way, but it may not happen until all my father’s generation (he is now 73) are all gone. For some reason, mainly the misinformation they received in their youth, they still belive marijuana is the devil’s weed.

    By the way, I consider my self to be a conservative. Just wanted to say that because it seems that everyone seems to think that only liberals use cannabis for their ailments or just to feel good sometimes; simply not so! Most conservatives just fear the pressure they would receive from their fellow conservatives for using the “devil’s weed”, so they keep it’s use in the closet. That’s my opinion anyway.

  2. About the age group, not all older folks vote NO. I am 62 years young and I injoy smoking pot,and going to smoke it anyway.

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