Nationwide Poll: More Americans Than Ever Before Say That Marijuana Should Be Legal

Washington, DC: Seven-in-ten voters believe that “the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States,” according to national polling data released last week by Quinnipiac University. That percentage is the highest level of support ever reported in a scientific poll.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents expressed support for legalizing marijuana. That percentage rises to 70 percent when only registered voters are included. That is an increase of 19 percentage points since 2012, when Quinnipiac first began polling on the issue.

“There is no buyer’s remorse on the part of the American people. In the era of state-level legalization, voters’ support for this issue has grown rapidly — an indication that these policy changes have been successful and are comporting with voters’ desires and expectations,” NORML’s Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “Today, voters of every age and in virtually every region of the country agree that marijuana should be legal. We have a mandate from the American people and we intend to make sure that elected officials abide by it.”

Support for legalization among the public is non-partisan. Strong majorities of Republicans (62 percent), Independents (67 percent), and Democrats (78 percent) back legalization. By contrast, elected officials continue to view the issue through a largely partisan lens, with Democrats primarily supporting the issue and Republicans typically voting against it. Recently enacted measures legalizing the adult-use marijuana markets in New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia were spearheaded by Democrats and were passed with virtually no Republican support.

The Quinnipiac poll also found that Americans of all ages support legalization. Among those ages 65 and older, 51 percent endorse legalization. This percentage of support is significantly higher among younger and middle-age voters, with 78 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 49 backing legalization and 72 percent of those ages 50 to 64 doing so.

Other national polls similarly show majority support among Americans of all ages and political ideologies.

The survey’s margin of error is +/- 2.8 percentage points. Additional polling data is available from NORML.