Pew Poll: “Support For Legalization Is Rapidly Outpacing Opposition”

Pew Poll:  Support For Legalization Is Rapidly Outpacing Opposition

Washington, DC: The majority of Americans say that the "use of marijuana should be legal," according to nationwide survey data published by the Pew Research Center.

Fifty-three percent of respondents support legalization. Forty-four percent of respondents oppose the idea and three percent are undecided. "Support for marijuana legalization is rapidly outpacing opposition," pollsters opined, acknowledging that Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana has risen some 10 percentage points over the past five years. Pollsters further acknowledged that legalization supporters are more likely than opponents to say that they have changed their minds on the issue in recent years.

Millennials (68 percent) are most likely to support legalization while most of those age 70 or older do not (29 percent). Most Republicans (61 percent) and Hispanics (60 percent) also remain opposed to legalizing marijuana. Among those with some college education or a college degree, 58 percent support reforming marijuana policy.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (62 percent) oppose the use of marijuana in public. By contrast, most respondents (57 percent) said that they would not be bothered if a "business selling marijuana" opened in their neighborhood.

In response to a separate question, 59 percent of those surveyed agreed that the government "should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that allow [its] use." A majority of both Democrats and Republicans endorse this position.

The poll is the latest in a series of national surveys showing majority support for legalizing and regulating marijuana.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: