HISTORIC HIGH: 58% of Americans Want Marijuana Legalized

Gallup released new polling data today that shows an overwhelming majority of Americans want marijuana to be legalized. According to their survey, 58% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, while only 39% are opposed. This is up significantly from the last time Gallup polled the question in 2012, when only 48% of Americans were in favor and 50% were opposed. For historical perspective, the first time they surveyed this question in 1969 a paltry 12% of Americans were in favor of legalization.

The support for marijuana legalization has seen unprecedented momentum in the past several years. Gallup observes, “Whatever the reasons for Americans’ greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States. Advocates of legalizing marijuana say taxing and regulating the drug could be financially beneficial to states and municipalities nationwide.”

“The American people have opened their eyes to the failure that is marijuana prohibition and there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Following the successful passage of marijuana legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington in 2012, the people of this country see that a new approach to marijuana policy is both required and possible,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “The majority of Americans now agree that it is time to legalize and regulate. The issue can no longer be ignored or sidelined. Legalization is now the mainstream position and supporters of perpetuating our war on marijuana will continue to be further relegated to the fringe.”

The strongest support was coming from those ages 18-29 (67%), ages 30-49 (62%), Democrats (65%), and Independents (62%). The only major demographic groups lacking majority support are those 65+ (45%) and Republicans (35%).

Full poll results can be viewed here.

71 thoughts

  1. These numbers are great but are these numbers being sent to the house, senate or any other government officials or the president? Do they care how many lives can be made better? Do they care about all the sick people dieing who could be saved by this wonderful plant? God gave this plant to us to be healthy. Doctors know it helps in many many ways! The government is very wrong to keep us from this harmless plant! They are not doctors! What right for they have to keep people from medicine that cures? We the People should have the right to medical treatment! We the People should have the right to be listened to! The government should work for us not against us!

  2. Any political party could seize this issue as an opportunity to expand its power base in the polls by making it a platform issue. They could and should it come to fruition, promptly screw it up as only government can. This issue needs responsible legislation by representatives that are forward thinking and truly concerned for what is good for the American people.

  3. This is very exciting. I kind if feel like it’s less due to more people understanding that marijuana is not dangerous and has medicinal qualities that can immensely improve the quality of life in many , than it is due to the old people that were opposed to marijuana in 1969 due to government propaganda and lies are now dying off and the next generations are and always have been increasingly in favor of it. The younger generations are more in favor of it because they have tried it, due to its wide, non-age-restricted availability, and have found that they like it and are not afraid of it. The availability of it being due to the black market in which it has been sold only giving more evidence to the fact that the war on drugs has failed.

  4. We have the information readily available on the internet for these polling numbers. In the past, before the internet, we had little choice but to take the Govt’s word for it that marijuana is an extremely dangerous substance. Most of us now know better!

    One huge question is: Why hasn’t either the Democrats or Republicans capitalized on this issue since the one that does stands to win greatly?

    For now, I am very much Independent and will absolutely NOT vote for anyone that wants to continue prohibition.

    I live in VA and will definitely be voting for Independent candidate Sarvis for Governor!

  5. It will even get HIGHER with no more political and social stereotyping citizens who want it legal.

  6. This is the first time in history that you have a majority who have either smoked pot or know someone who has. The scare tactics the government has used in the past no longer work. ‘Marijuana Madness’ is considered a joke, not a warning.

  7. @ Michael

    I agree with much of what you say. While I believe the education of the people on the issue of MJ has certainly helped, as had the legalization of MMJ in many states, I also believe it is a case of changing demographics. The old-timers who grew up afraid of MJ, saturated as they were with propaganda, are dying off, and being replaced with young people who harbor no such fears.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–just a matter of time before the majority of the country has legalization. The parties and most of the politicians will fall in line as the polls continue to show more and more Americans favoring legalization. They’ll have no choice if they want to stay in office.

  8. I don’t know why its illegal to begin with….so the pharmaceutical companies can make their billions

  9. 58% could be (just about) suppressed by those who still ignore the tide of public opinion. When it hits about 65 % I think you will have won.
    Legalisation is now an accepted stance to hold on the issue of how to regulate cannabis – it is no longer a point of view that people will persecute you for. (even if they still feel the need to challenge it)

    Great News !!

  10. @Michael:

    There’s also the people like myself, in the 30-49 demographic, who don’t actually use but know plenty of people who do, or who have in the past, and have learned that marijuana users are not detriments to society AND, by having so many consistent accounts of marijuana use that completely contradict the propaganda (and in some cases, have gone on to do their own research online to learn the facts) have come to the logical conclusion that marijuana is infinitely safer than any of the legal options, has many important medicinal uses, and that keeping it illegal is more of a detriment to our society than legalizing it, by an astronomical margin.

    But yes, I do agree that the biggest factor is probably that every eighty year old who kicks the bucket means less support for the prohibitionists (as mean as that sounds, it’s also true). Not only do they have a minority on their side now, they have an ever-decreasing minority, because they’re never going to be able to propagandize this issue to the younger generation with the success they need. Like the article said, the genie’s out of the bottle.

  11. I am shocked that Americans 65 and older are the only age group that still opposes legalizing marijuana (being this is the beat and hippie generation). Still, support among this group has jumped 14 percentage points since 2011. I will need to see a breakdown on that age group. I think it must be mostly the 70 years and older people that oppose it.

  12. Wow, 39 percent still oppose legalization…. That’s a lot of people with their head up their ass.

  13. i just saw the NBC newscast and bryan willians reported it as 52% in favor. i’d like a clarification in the exact percentage.

  14. Just today my 86 year old ww2 veteran father who all my life preached the evils of marijuana and drug use. Stated that he wished that the government would legalize marijuana and that they have lied about marijuana since ww2.
    What ever happened to hemp for victory? And that even Pat Robertson wants to legalize it.
    Wow, how this man has mellowed!

  15. For those who do not believe in cannabis as a medicine watch the documentary called Cannabis Rising: The key in the Lock. After seeing this video I can’t believe the US Goverment has sold out to profits instead of its people. This is a medicine and this comes from a police officer.

  16. This is marijuana reform in a nutshell: Every new generation will bring with it their own system of social values and norms. Some of these will be in stark contrast to the beliefs of the previous generations. My favorite example is rock n’ roll music. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, the baby boomers spearheaded this new musical movement. Their parents thought rock n’ roll was pure evil and that anyone who listened to it was somehow ruining their life. Looking back, that all seems pretty silly. Rock n’ roll is simply one of many legitimate musical genres and you would be hard pressed to find anyone living in the United States who still sees it as the “evil” it was once labeled as. Flash forward 50 years, and marijuana is the new rock n’ roll. The future generations WILL accept it for what it is, a natural herb with extraordinary capabilities and potential. However, right now, we are in a transition period. If the older folks in our generation were able to realize this, it would make things much easier. We aren’t asking for their approval, but rather their recognition that marijuana belongs to our generation and the next. It is NORMAL for them to disagree, but they must know that it WILL be legal and accepted in due time. Why not make that time now? Rock on.

  17. Isn’t the graph beautiful? Better access to internet, 40 years of busted lies and a failed health care system that has driven our retiring baby boomers to self medicate has contributed greatly to this epic epiphany in American society. It amazes me that the curriculum in medicine I was studying to work for NIH never even mentioned the endocannabinoid system. An entire organ-regulating neurological system affecting hormonal, microbial and homeostatic balance within the human body has only begun to break the confines of federally sanctioned research oppression, all thanks to a kind plant that contains medicine so powerful it has forgiven a nation of profiteering capitalists from its own prohibition…

  18. Although the 58% should have me excited. Its been provided over and over again the elected officials in Washington could care less what the american people want. Cant believe that in these times and age. There are still people out there that believe the same old stories about marijuana. Its addicting, well im 56 and have smoked my whole life. Im on a job search and haven’t smoked for 2 months. I went threw no withdrawal at all. Again with the addiction. I suffer from back spasms it is fine in the governments standards that i was given 120 vikadins a month for 4 years. And yes became addicted. Went threw awful withdrawals. And hade two doctors tell me they didnt think i could be addicted from them. They wanted me to just lower my dose. Got to a point I couldnt get out of bed till i had a pill. I now control pain by smoking marijuana. I dont have pain every day. And wake up fealing great. But this is a crime. And the myth it leads to harder drugs. I have no desire for them. I have lost a sister to drinking. Witch is legal. I have never known or heard of anyone. Smoking thereself to death form marijuana. So why am I going through all this. Anyone on this page reading this. Knows everything I’m saying. So back to the 58 percent. As long as police officials and government use words like heroin and cocaine. In the same sentence as marijuana. I can’t see it meaning anything. I sure hope im wrong. Would love to see it

  19. I was injured on the job in 1993.Low back blowout with 4 disks injured resulting in surgery a year after therapy and many different medications that did nothing.I tried smoking some cannabis and it worked.the pain was definitely not as bad and I could go back to work.Now that medical marijuana has come to Delaware maybe I wont have to break the law by bying it illegaly.After 17 years of self medicating can I get a medical card to buy it legally.

  20. Now at the age of 57 I have severe arthritis in one shoulder and it is starting in the other shoulder.Cannabis also works better than anything I have tried to date

  21. Im 51, i a firm believer in the medical properties of mj. been. smoking it for 35 yrs. I’ve had 9 abdominal surgeries, n a spinal fusion. i live n a state where its not legal for medical mj so i have been denied my meds. because i smoke. where’s the justice.

  22. Growing up in a culture where the govt. prohibition efforts invade our children’s schools for slanting their perspectives and turning their innocent efforts into sweeping the leo needs for control towards the govts efforts to control their parents. No wonder their are more home schooled efforts growing nationally. It threatens the govt’s core attempts to enter the privacy of our home. The Fusion Centers are already online….The pendulum swings both directions.

  23. President Obama has said if you want to get something done let the American
    people vote on it. Understanding that would you be willing to put Marijuana to a
    vote to allow it. Or would you agree by the polls 58% that it is the will of the people and remove Marijuana from being a class 1 drug. All we want is a vote just like you did let the whole United States be the vioce thay are.

  24. President Obama has said if you want to get something done let the American
    people vote on it. Understanding that would you be willing to put Marijuana to a
    vote to allow to the American people the chance ? Or remove it as a class one
    drug . And let states decide.

  25. It would be a blessing to have cannibas legalized.Both medicinal and recreational.Over the years I have had to put so much medicine in my body, You can only imagine the side affects I’ve had to deal with. Now I’m dealing with twice as many health issues and a brain tumor. Like I said it will be a blessing for me. Let’s do it, We need this.

  26. There may be some excusable cause on the 65 and older including republicans, such as, the risk of loosing their retirement and their home because they are still being owned and threatened by the federal government or corporations that are run by their master who gets support from the federal government and various agencies that benefits from keeping cannabis illegal.

  27. I guess we really have to relive the threats of a budget shutdown again when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling before a high enough number of the Congressional dummies in D.C. will remove the federal barriers so that we can get all the freakin’ money from legal cannabis.

    Those b%stards will cut ever other program before they cut anything that calls off the federal dogs of cannabis prohibition.

    Manufacture the event that creates critical mass for which Congress gives its consent to legalize cannabis. Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent.

    Do it.

  28. I hope that the supreme court will consider the will of the people. I have been in favor of legalization since I became aware of what marjuana is. I have never been able to drink and have tried because it is legal. I am one who would rejoice the legalization of marjuana because I have never gotten sick or had a hangover from even the highest potency marjuana. Legalization should be passed by all states and the federal government.

  29. @ Melissa,

    I’m sure the majority of those “65 and above” are the older bunch of that demographic, those 75 and above. Those who were in their 20s during the 1950s and before.

    Of course, you have to remember that during the beat and hippy generations of the late ’50s and ’60s, not everyone was toking. For every person in their teens and twenties and thirties who was toking, there were probably two or three at least who weren’t.

    And the conservatives and rednecks were a bit different back then. Today, even many conservatives and rednecks toke. Back then, most of them didn’t–liquor still being their main drug of choice. In fact, back then most conservatives mocked and hated stoners; considered them a bunch of liberal longhairs. The song, “Okie from Muskogee” summed up the attitudes pretty good. I’m glad things changed in that respect.

  30. The Red voters…
    They turn blue, tomorrow…
    And shinin cannabis…
    All through my head…
    The tiny islands….
    Of hemp… sag downstream…
    Covering footprints…
    Dressed in Red…

    And Marijuana…
    it Cries,

    Will Marijuana ever remember?
    The names it has blown in the past?
    And with its buds, its old age, and its wisdom,
    It whispers, “No,
    This will be the last.”
    And Mary Jane,
    she cries,

  31. @Pax
    Colorado is a Red state
    The epic Legalization received more votes than Obbummer got.
    All Politicans are puppets that need to be reminded that come Election Day.

  32. If the younger people would get out and vote we would change things in our favor. The older people in which the majority are against this movement are the ones more likely to make it to the polls.

  33. Sorry, this was me, Evening Bud, making the post to Weed the People, not WtP making a post to himself, LOL.

  34. Law enforcement is prohibitions’ greatest ally. Don’t vote for ex-attorney generals, prosecutors, etc. into higher offices, lest you want to live in a police state. These people LOVE f’n up your life. All over a plant. Find something you like, know you’ll come back for more, and then make it illegal. Gotta keep the Justice system busy, lest we don’t need them. Anheuser-Busch has it right….Grab some buds! And vape them up! Support NORML and we’ll end this injustice!

  35. Here’s your Republican Response from Texas:

    Dear Mr. (pro-cannabis guy):

    Thank you for contacting me regarding proposals to decriminalize hemp cultivation in the United States. I appreciate having the benefit of your views on this matter.

    While I recognize that hemp varieties were once common in American agriculture, and that imported hemp fiber and by-products still serve a number of legitimate commercial purposes, I share the concern of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency that decriminalizing hemp farming could increase the incidence of illicit marijuana cultivation and complicate federal surveillance and enforcement measures. However, you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind should relevant legislation be considered during the 113th Congress.

    I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

    United States Senator

    517 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Tel: (202) 224-2934
    Fax: (202) 228-2856

    I’m telling you, we gotta organize the Democratic Party in Texas if we want cannabis legalized. Here is Senator Cornyn; our blantant serving of denial.

  36. @Julian.
    You are woefully uninformed if you think the Texas democratic party is going to stand behind this issue either. I have contacted both sides and got like response.Specifically Henry Cuellar. I would sooner vote for a socialist than I would a dem anyway, same difference I guess? LOL!

  37. What a dimwit bozo this John Cornyn guy is, “I share the concern of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency that decriminalizing hemp farming could increase the incidence of illicit marijuana cultivation and complicate federal surveillance and enforcement measures.”

    Translation: I don’t give a crap that the US continues to spend billions of our tax dollars enforcing the long lost War On Drugs and further infringing on Americans right to privacy and to choose what is best for themselves.

    I wonder who else’s payroll he’s on.

    Get out the vote people!!!

  38. do it ,it will save my life.. I need it now’ tired of these dam pills, they are kill me;; let it get legalize

  39. U.S. Senator John Cornyn is most likely to be voted out. His supporter were the wealthy and the naïve, and they are both declining in numbers.

  40. @ Don Devine,

    Hope you never use Social Security or Medicare . . . that would make you a . . . egads, Socialist! Anyway, the demographics of Texas are changing like they are everywhere else . . . sooner or later Texas gonna be blue, then it’ll legalize pot.

  41. As the older generations who are influenced by reefer madness die off, newer generations are understanding of marijuana. That’s why the majority are favoring marijuana and it will grow higher and higher through time.

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