DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: National support for marijuana legalization has fallen seven points since 2013 but still has the support of a majority of Americans, according to new polling released by Gallup. The drop comports with a similar dip in polling conducted by Public Religion Research Institute this year, and to a lesser extent with numbers coming out of Pew.
Opponents and supporters of legalization are trying to square these numbers against the results of the midterm elections, when legalization measures passed by healthy margins in Alaska, Oregon and D.C. “This poll shows that legalization is far from inevitable and the fight to stop it is far from over,” said Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group opposing legalization.
Tom Angell of the pro-legalization Marijuana Majority took the long view: “The long-term polling trend from Gallup and other firms clearly shows that legalization is a majority-support issue that’s becoming more and more mainstream over time.”
Researchers say the drop in support is significant, but it doesn’t necessarily change their views on the overall trajectory of the legalization debate. “Tuesday night’s results – in an off-year electorate – don’t suggest any great loss of momentum for the pro-pot side,” said Mark A. R. Kleiman of the University of California, Los Angels.