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. There’s alot of ways to confuse the voting public. There’s two ways to be fooled.
    1. To believe what [isn’t] true.
    2. To refuse to believe what [is] true.
    All I would be interested in is a poll from California. That’s where it’s happening. National opinion only confuses the issue and could dampen one’s intent. I’m sure the feds statement that they don’t care what California says, they’re going to actively pursue enforcement in California anyway might have turned some weak supporters off. Stand up and be counted. Vote YES!

  2. this is not surprising what is is that the govt. doesnt listen and wants to keep fighting the war on marajuana .what is it going to take for them to finally realize that it needs to be legalized in the usa instead of spending millions on a prohibition that a lot of americans dont support they keep wasting our tax dollars on a prohibition that will not win .most people who smoke it knows that is no more harmful than alcohol a persons personal choice of what to relax on should not be a punishment. the federal pot laws are unconstitutional our right should not be violated like they are. it is way past time to legalize marajuana

  3. Soon it will be all over… any prohibitionist still alive will parish along with their ancestors and a new glorious marijuana industry will have begun!

  4. I find it hard to believe that 46% of Americans are on board and California won’t pass this. I hope it is going to pass with bigger numbers than we think, to make a statement. Come on Cali. the entire world is watching, waiting and hoping for you to stop the madness which is Prohibition. Thanks Norml for all that you do. It must be pretty busy up there!

  5. that’s a really nice graphic.

    the momentum is all ours.

    the sixties was the time to end the horrific drug war against us all.

    o man, the system is vile.

    is there any truth to the rumor that cheech and chong will be at the dc mall tomorrow?

    prop 19 yes

  6. Texas Group Offers $10,000 To Disprove Pot Safer Than Alcohol

    http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2010/10/texas_group_offers_10000_to_disprove_pot_safer_tha.php

    “However, the campaign works to address increasing public safety concerns that our state laws prohibiting marijuana are sending a dangerous message to the public that alcohol is more acceptable than marijuana, despite the fact that every objective study on alcohol and marijuana has shown marijuana is a much safer substance than alcohol to both the user and to society,” the group said in a statement.”

    It is sad, that so many alcoholics never had a the chance to try a safer alternative, was reading in the news about another alcoholic jumping off a bridge..AA

    YES Proposition 19

  7. The great and hilarious part about this, is that the “only old people vote” principle definitely *does not* apply here.

    The old conservative vote *will* be overwhelmed by the young liberal and libertarian vote.

    Next month’s news will be *hilarious*.

  8. So the South, conservatives, old people and Republicans are opposed the most.

    Color me surprised. These are also the folks that will advocate the use of force to solve problems, in this case mass incarceration, as a first resort.

    As a libertarian, I’m disgusted by the current GOP and how embarrassing the term ‘social conservative’ is now. Pretty much an insult when you call somebody that.

  9. I think this nuber is much higher. How many out there just wont come out and say they support legalization because they are afraid to?

  10. this looks made up to me… and I read exactly the same percentage divisions today from the british parliament.. your gona have to do better than that!

    GALLOP Bull shit profit driven propaganda, nothing more sinister… the people will rise up!

    🙂

  11. Imagine if the prohibitionists had their way and there actually was a drug-free America. I’ll take a great leap of faith here and make the assumption that 46% is closer to the real percentage of U.S. citizens who have ever tried cannabis, as contrasted with the percentage who report it on surveys. CASA, you suck! If it does turn out to be the case, they’d be paying for 46% of the population to be churned through the criminal justice system at maximum efficiency. After legalization there could be a short spike for the novelty, then drop off to its market percentage plateau. Statiticians, please account for the death rate at which older people are passing on and more of the younger people taking their places are slowly increasing things overall.

  12. So basically, all we have to do is convince all the republican, conservative, over-65, southern women that cannabis is good? Sounds easy enough. Let’s make up some nice baked goods and tea and have a good ol’ door-to-door.

    Ps. I don’t mean to be sexist, just going by the chart 🙂

  13. and thats not including thousands of Americans who dont partake in polls…it can honestly go either way, but i support legalization

  14. If you factor in the statistics,and the prohibitionists are expert at it,since polls taken by bots always show higher positive results on the question of legalization
    than any of the live surveys,we are already at a majority.

  15. To all of the hard working people at NORML, your 40 years of work has steadily changed the minds of millions of thoughtful Americans.I can’t thank you enough. You will all be remembered in history as champions of freedom.Great work. I will always support your efforts!

  16. re; #9;
    I think this number is much higher. How many out there just won’t come out and say they support legalization because they are afraid to?

    –absolutely.

    previous polls show 52% up to 72% support (decrim. / recreational)

    it all depends on how the question is phrased, and who answers the phone. (this poll was 150 young people on cells v/s 850 old people on landlines)

    phrase-ology;

    “legalize” = 40% (fear of ‘z’)

    “make it legal” = 50% (no ‘z’)

    “treat like alcohol or tobacco” = close to 60%

    “medical use” = 80% or more.

  17. So! what have we learned from the whole exercise?
    Polls don’t mean shit! In Vegas – when you roll the dice – you don’t take a poll to figure out what’s going to come up. You don’t take a poll before a horse comes out of the gate. You don’t take a poll before the croupier spins the roulette wheel. Once the dice are tossed – that’s it. In the case of Prop 19 – the diced were rigged by government intimidation.

  18. I can’t believe that having a small amount of pot is a crime, when you can slaugter the unborn children in this country, and be celebrated as a constitutional right. It used to be a crime to engage in gay behavior, now it is celebrated as a constitutional right, and now you can serve in the military. Illegal immigrants will probably get amnesty. But what about the citizens who has been caught with a small amount of pot? He is cursed for life. Draft dodgers got amnesty. Alcohol was once illegal now it’s legal, Why? because the government gets tax dollars from it. Remember alcohol is man made, Pot is natural. When the abortion issue is visited the women say hey it’s my body. The pot smokers should say the same thing “It’s my body”. It’s a victimless crime. I’m a conservative and I believe that pot should be legal.

  19. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE MARAJUANA LAWS ARE A BUST. i AM NOT A USER DUE TO TRHE FACT THAT IT IS ILLEGAL; HOWEVER I CAN SEE THAT WE ARE THROWING GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD TRYING TO ENFORCE THIS INANE LAW. iT SEEMS CLEAR TO ME THAT MARAJUANA LAWS ARE RACIST, AND UNFAIR TO ALL THOSE PPL WHO ARE ENGAUGED IN USING CANIBAS.
    i SUFFER FROM CHRONIC PAIN (rsd) AND WOU8LD MOST LIKELY BENEFIT FROM CANABIS BUT I DONT USE IT DUE TO THE FACT THAT MY PAIN MEDS WOULD BE CUT OFF IF IT SHOWED UP IN A TOX SCREEN. lETS PUT THE DEALERS OUT OF BUSINESS AND USE THE POLICE TO SOLVE REAL CRIMES LIKE MURDER,RAPE , BURGALRY ,ETC.
    oNE MORE NOTE THE FACT THAT THE COPS ARE BUSTING UP THE REFFER TRADE THE CRACK DEALERS ARE REJOYCING THAT THEY CAN SELL THAT CRAP TO PPL LOOKING FOR A HIGH DIFFERENT THAN ALCOHOL( THE REAL DANGEROUS STUFF).
    lEGALIZE AND TAX THE CANABIS AND LET THE PPL HAVE WHAT THEY WANT. REMEMBER THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!

  20. Well we have known all of this for a very long time,the fact is thast the government needs to take charge and make it legal across the board in every stae in the country instead of leaving it up to the states themselves.The government has the power to do this.It is the fix all for the deficit which would be gone within 2-3 years tops if legalized as well as all of the states in the country who are all screaming that their broke,well again this is the perfect answer to theitr problems as well,it would get rid of all deficits in a very short amount of time and also would provide very many jobs as well

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