Gallup: Support For Legalizing Marijuana At Historic High

Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to nationwide polling data released today by Gallup.

The percentage ties the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup, and is more than twice the level of support reported in the mid-1990s.

Younger Americans, Democrats and independents are the most likely to favor legalizing cannabis, while Republicans and Americans over the age of 65 are least likely to do so. Among those poll respondents age 18 to 34, 71 percent endorse legalization. Among respondents age 35 to 49 years of age, 64 percent support legalizing marijuana.


“Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is the highest Gallup has measured to date, at 58 percent,” pollsters concluded. “Given the patterns of support by age, that percentage should continue to grow in the future. Younger generations of Americans have been increasingly likely to favor legal use of marijuana as they entered adulthood compared with older generations of Americans when they were the same age decades ago. … Now senior citizens are alone among age groups in opposing pot legalization.

“These trends suggest that state and local governments may come under increasing pressure to ease restrictions on marijuana use, if not go even further like the states of Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in making recreational marijuana use completely legal.”

The 2015 Gallup poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Commenting on the latest polling data, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Supporting the status quo — the notion that marijuana and those adults who consume it responsibly ought to be criminalized — is now a fringe position in America. These results ought to embolden campaigning politicians, as well as elected officials, to take a more pronounced stance in favor of legalizing and regulating cannabis in a manner that is consistent with the desires of the majority of their constituents.”

16 thoughts

  1. now if only the politicians would listen to the people. the prohibitionist are politicians who owe favors to special interests groups the police and othe groups that make money off of marajuana being illegal im 58 years old and i pray that i see marajuana legalized soon

  2. It is time for politicians to not only pay attention to these numbers, but to try to do something about it. If a larger majority however small, even if it were only 51 percent, it is time to rethink the Marijuana laws. Cost is second, as everything else goes up, so does the cost of The War On Drugs. (Which is mostly cannabis.) Cannabis consumers mostly do not harm another person. The majority of us, are more dangerous to a sandwich of some kind, or other food, then to another person. Once high, it’s munchies, and then perhaps a nap. The only kind of drug you’ll say yes to is more pot. And sometimes, you’ve had enough to not smoke anymore.

    The laws as they stand now are almost embarrassing, as they don’t slightly tally with the true effects of cannabis. It has been proven, that cannabis is less dangerous then Crayons. It is at least more organic then crayons.

    And then there’s also the medical applications in treating things like Cancer, which seemed un-treatable before, but with cannabis, it is possible to get hard to treat cancer to die. Types of lung cancer which is nearly impossible to treat, cannabis kills off. So it not only treats cancer, but kills it too.

    It’s benefits go on. And we find new ones all the time.

    I is just plain time, to rethink the laws.

  3. In Pennsylvania, too.

    I sure hope the Pennsylvania legislators who have been holding closed door sessions about legalizing medical cannabis are simply waiting to see how the election goes in Ohio. I’m holding out the hope that they’ll act on the fact that western states with adult retail are merging some of the medical marijuana bureaucracy with the adult retail. They ought to just set up the infrastructure for a merged system of legal medical marijuana on a date before legal adult retail goes into effect. You have to built the first story of the building, meaning medical, before you can built the second story, meaning adult retail, on top.

    You’ve got $Kaching$ from medical to set up the offices for adult retail, and the public realizes even more how much cannabis is not the Big Bad Wolf they were being led to believe, which happens between the legalization of medical and the date adult retail goes into effect.

    Pennsylvania needs money. These politicians are a lot dumber than I thought if they don’t do something like that. I mean, they can see legalization is coming. Why put off taxing the market that already exists for it? It’s not going away. You can’t arrest your way out of it. You need to stop the money flow to the cartels. I am sick of all these shootings. It’s like every week there’s another shooting in just about any city: Philly, Allentown, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, wherever.

    The state is broke, and prohibitionists haven’t got a way to come up with more money, so why don’t they just shut the F*** Up, and either help or get out of the way of all that money from legalization!

    Let’s have a different kind of Weed & Seed!

    Yeah, baby! Legalize it in Pennsylvania!

  4. “Among those poll respondents age 18 to 34, 71 percent endorse legalization. Among respondents age 35 to 49 years of age, 64 percent support legalizing marijuana.”

    These numbers make legalization look inevitable, but I’m older. Will I be here to see it?

  5. this is good news but when will the elected leaders of this country listen to the people and legalize it instead of punishing users

  6. “Now senior citizens are alone among age groups in opposing pot legalization.”

    “…the notion that marijuana and those adults who consume it responsibly ought to be criminalized — is now a fringe position in America.”

    More and more, the GOP’s strategy of appealing to the prohibitionist cultural conservatives appears to be a loser in the long run.

  7. An “Historic” High?
    Nice soundbite Paul.
    I just had a visual of a very peaceful city street with lawyers at cafes and joggers toking away on vaporizers while jubilant bakers hand out medibles… Oh, that was Denver.
    I wonder what our ancestors would think of these polls when they were building our homes with hemp?

  8. We all need to vote only for those who have enough sense and compassion to do away with the idiotic prohibitionist laws that were put in place to oppress those who they did not like; Mexicans and Blacks and when Nixon came along it was the hippies…

    It’s just stupid to continue this idiocy into this century. There are people from every corner using marijuana, now or in their past, and that includes Congressmen, Senators, Governors, and the last couple of Presidents of the United States; not to mention the current president…

    How much longer???

    The majority of the people in this country now realize the laws are based on lies, greed, and racism. The majority want marijuana to be legal. And still, there are holdouts who are on the fringe of society that just won’t let go; Like Santorum and Christie to name a couple… They are a stain on this country!

  9. @TheOracle
    Very good, and I should have mentioned my own State there. I do hope they look at Ohio, and decide to pass some stuff in Harrisburg a little faster. There’s not only a pending bill for medical marijuana, but one for recreational marijuana as well. I don’t believe the bill is completely dead yet, just not going anywhere. Maybe they might rethink the bill, if Ohio passes theirs?

    I really hope so, as time is coming, to rethink the cannabis laws throughout the whole country. Pennsylvania should try to lead, not hang back for last, the way they (we) do for many other things. Let other States do it, before they decide to pass it themselves.

    Besides just how correct it would be to change these laws here in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania could also use the tax revenue.

    Maybe if these idiot politicians would pass the budget, we’ll have medical marijuana. Hopefully, once it passes, other bills might pass too.

    Anyways, thanks for posting at least something about Pennsylvania.
    And I hope they work on some of this soon.

  10. The polls are interesting, but what I would like to know now is when it comes to the population what age demographic votes the most and by how much? Yes 58% want to legalize but how many of them go to the voting booths and how many of the remaining 42% show up on election day? I would really like to know this as I believe this is why most politicians on the republican side still are opposed.

  11. Gallup follows the prevailing bipolar language of “medical” vs “recreational”– but knows nothing of prospects for legalizing “nutritional”, “inspirational” and “occupational” use. Maybe time to start whipping up some respect for these use-categories among voters and candidates– those first two only connote “ill” and “underemployed” thus feeding negatistic stereotypes.

  12. I have a question…

    In conversations with people,
    about politics and leadership,
    cannabis and legalization-
    there is something I have heard,
    more than once, and I am unsure of the actual level of possibility…

    That is, several people state that they expect obama to legalize cannabis on his way out, as departing presidents, with no future stake in elections sometimes enact changes that might have impacted their voter turnout…

    IS obama even possibly able to do this?
    I know it takes an act of congress, or something similar-
    but can he disallow prosecution of it-
    or modify its status as a scheduled compound?

    Whether and why are questions-
    and while I don’t trust the man, (at all,
    it might be that he (IF POSSIBLE)
    might try such a thing-
    if for no other reason that to tag that onto his legacy-

    an undoing of Reagan’s greatest farkup…

    [Editor’s note: It is unlikely that President Obama is going to issue an executive order making cannabis legalized nationally (despite being the most cannabis-tolerant/criminal justice reform-oriented president to date, his administration has not chosen to back any of the twenty plus cannabis law reform bills before the 114th Congress).]

  13. @ Denny
    What I am hoping for is that Pennsylvania lawmakers include projections from legal cannabis revenue in their budget estimates, and legalize both medical and adult recreational, for which brick and mortar seed to sale could be available in about 6 months. However, ever slothful as they are, it’s just a dream.

  14. @Ben & Editor,
    While the Obama Adninistration may not be supporting (All 20 bills? Jeez… He MUST be playing coy…) the more likely parting gifts in his final year will be a continuance of what he has already done… Pardon more prisoners with unjust drug sentences and still serving time on mandatory minimums, especially depending on the Senate’s upcoming vote. Dealing with prisoners already serving harsh sentences is a serious problem that will require a much greater and appropriate executive action frim the president with much less risk of ending up in court before next year’s elections.
    Bottom line is President Obama doesnt want to screw up any of the bills before states are firmly over the %50 electorate of legalization, which seems inevitable looking at Ohio, California and Nevada’s momentum. I even wonder if he’s playing reverse psychology with Republicans in the House, but after recent polls at %58 in favor of full legalization in the U.S. the President will be looking for Democratic votes and I wouldnt be surprised to see him support any legalization bills once and if they pass, especially after we get through the primaries. A veto would mean tragedy for the Democratic party and he knows it.
    In any case, with the path were on its Congress that better be sweatin buds and passing a bowl of marijuana legalization legislation. The presidential candidates have already spoken and sealed their fate, and if Rand Paul is the best Republican candidate for marijuana running for president, then Republican Congressman should be really scared for their jobs right now. Young people are going to vote next year in droves, and in “swing states” like Ohio and Nevada, green helps make the color blue and theres no green in red. Its time to focus the limelight on the Senate and the House now more than ever. Writem again!

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