Gallup: Most Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

Gallup: Most Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

Public support for legalizing marijuana has more than tripled since the 1970’s, according to a new Gallup Poll that also found a clear majority of Americans (58%) now say the drug should be legalized. When Gallup first asked the question in 1969, only 12% of Americans favored legalizing marijuana.

The national poll of 1,028 registered voters was conducted in early October and has a margin of error of 4%. In April, a similar poll by the Pew Research Foundation was the first to find that a majority of Americans favor legalization.

gv32bf6ay0gwmjp1rv5otq“The dramatically increasing support for making marijuana legal should come as no surprise. Marijuana prohibition has been an abject failure. Most Americans realize it is unjust, wasteful, and counterproductive to invest in the criminalization of adults for using a substance that is far less harmful than alcohol,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization.

Attitudes about marijuana have changed significantly in recent years. Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use last year.

Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November.  In California, advocates of legalization are planning a statewide ballot initiative in 2014 to legalize the drug for recreational use. California is one of 19 states, along with the District of Columbia, where the medical use of marijuana is already allowed.

Both medical and recreational use of marijuana technically remain illegal under federal law, although the U.S. Justice Department recently said it would not rigorously enforce the law in states where it is legal, provided that those states enforce rules on the drug’s sale and distribution.

The Gallup Poll found broad support for legalization among younger voters.  Sixty-seven percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 back legalization, and 62% of those between the ages of 30 and 49.

Americans 65 and older are the only age group that still opposes legalization.

The growing support for legalization among Independents has helped drive support for legalizing marijuana. Sixty-two percent of Independents now favor legalization, up 12 points from November 2012.

Support for legalization among Democrats and Republicans saw little change. More than two in three Democrats (65%) favor legalization, compared to just 35% of Republicans.

Marijuana advocates say the Gallup poll is a further sign that marijuana should be decriminalized at the national level.

“It is time for Congress to take this issue head on. It should no longer be considered scary or troublesome to speak out in support of more sensible marijuana policies. We need to put marijuana prohibition behind us, and our leaders need to step up to move things forward,” Kampia said in a statement.

Authored by: Pat Anson, Editor

There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Liliana Ortiz at 4:49 am

    I Support legalization of medicinal marijuana, I think it would allot of us who live with chronic pain, cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, ms, anorexia, migraines, etc. the people who really need it not abusers. It’s better then opioid meds, not help as well as medicinal marijuana does and because there different strains for different illnesses, it would to the patients advantage, and the cannabis clubs are very well educated and trained in the strains and strengthens, patients need according to their illness, plus it’s not all about smoking it ,there are edibles, oils, butters, sprays, balms, and list goes on. So yes I completely support it!!!

  2. Joy H Selak at 1:42 pm

    I know many who have really been helped by marijuana for pain, so I would like to see the stigma removed for their sakes. Interesting that the party who wants the government out of our business is the only one cited as having less than 50% support in this article. Maybe that is related to age.

  3. Tate Wells at 2:10 pm

    This is great news from Gallup. We need to continue education about Marijuana. I fully support the recreational use of Marijuana but we have to also accept the fact that Marijuana is illegal in most of the world and even in most of the United States. I agree that the amount of deaths attributed to Alcohol and Prescription Drugs each year are sky high and yet with no deaths attributed to Marijuana we still have to fight for the right to use this organic substance.

    We ARE making progress. Step one is getting Marijuana decriminalized and available for Medical Use. From there, and seeing how CO and WA handle it, we area able to move to Recreational Use.
    I am glad that CO and WA are leading the charge for legalization. This shows other states how they can reduce state costs by not arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating marijuana related crimes and actually make money by taxing marijuana to strengthen the state’s social services and infrastructure.

    Last week we had the Dalai Lama support Marijuana for medical use and is a great step in the right direction, Just like with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, it allows the uninformed non-smoker to stop thinking of Marijuana as an Evil Drug and as a positive natural resource.

    This benefits all Marijuana Advocates.