60% of Americans Now Back Legalizing Marijuana
A record high 60% of American adults support legalization of marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll released just 3 weeks before voters in 9 states decide whether to expand legal access to marijuana.
When Gallup 1st asked about this issue in Y 1969, just 12% of Americans supported legalization. By Y 2000, support increased to 31%and has continued climbing since then, reaching 58% last year.
Recreational use of marijuana is currently legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and the District of Columbia. Depending on the Election Day outcome, they could be joined by Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.
Three other states, Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota will be deciding whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montanans will vote on whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.
According to Gallup’s new poll, released Wednesday, 67% of Democrats support legalization, compared to 42% of Republicans and 70% of independents. Support among adults aged 18-34 was 77%, compared to 45% among those over 55.
The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted 5-9 October with a random sample of 1,017 adults living in all 50 states and Washington, DC. Gallup said the margin of error was + or – 4%.
Gallup’s findings were similar to those in a survey released on 12 October by the Pew Research Center. It found that 57% of US adults supported legalizing marijuana, up from 32% 10 years later.
Tom Angell, Chairman of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority, said the 2 polls suggested that prospects were good for the state ballot measures.
“More politicians would do themselves a big favor to take note of the clear trend,” he said in an e-Mail.