About Six-In-Ten Americans Support Marijuana Legalization

U.S. public opinion on legalizing marijuana, 1969-2018About six-in-ten Americans (62%) say the use of marijuana should be legalized, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The share of U.S. adults who support marijuana legalization is little changed from about a year ago – when 61% favored it – but it is double what it was in 2000 (31%).

The growth in public support for legal marijuana comes as a growing number of states have legalized the drug for medical or recreational purposes in recent years.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for recreational purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than half the states (31) – plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico – have legalized it for medical purposes. Marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law.

The list of states that have legalized marijuana could expand this November. Voters in Michigan and North Dakota will decide whether to allow recreational use, while those in Missouri and Utah will decide on medical use. In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert announced this month that he would call a special session in November to debate a different medical marijuana proposal, regardless of how the ballot measure turns out.

As in the past, there are wide generational and partisan differences in views of marijuana legalization. Majorities of Millennials (74%), Gen Xers (63%) and Baby Boomers (54%) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Members of the Silent Generation continue to be the least supportive of legalization (39%), but they have become more supportive in the past year.

Nearly seven-in-ten Democrats (69%) say marijuana use should be legal, as do 75% of independents who lean toward the Democratic Party.

Republicans are divided, with 45% in favor of legalizing marijuana and 51% opposed. Still, the share of Republicans saying marijuana should be legal has increased from 39% in 2015. Independents who lean toward the Republican Party are far more likely than Republicans to favor marijuana legalization (59% vs. 45%).

 

Latest Pew Poll Finds Record Support In Favor Of Legalization

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the adult use of marijuana should be legal, according to polling data compiled by the Pew Research Center. The percentage is the highest level of support ever reported by the firm, which has polled Americans’ views regarding legalization since 1969.

Support is strongest among African Americans (71 percent), Democrats (69 percent), and Independents (65 percent). Support was weakest among Republicans (43 percent) and white evangelical Protestants (38 percent). However, among self-identified Republicans under 40 years of age, 62 percent favor legalization.

Pew’s results are similar to those of other recent national polls. For instance, an October Gallup poll found that 64 percent of the public support making adult cannabis use legal. A Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday reports that 58 percent of voters nationwide back adult use legalization, and 91 percent believe that medical cannabis should be legal. That poll also reports that 70 percent of voters oppose federal interference in state marijuana policies.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

Values Survey: 63 Percent Of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legal

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Sixty-three percent of Americans age 18 and older favor making the use of marijuana legal, according to national polling results compiled by the Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Survey.

This percentage is the highest ever reported by the poll, and marks a 30 percent increase in public support for marijuana legalization since 2014.

The poll possesses a margin or error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

The results come only days after separate surveys released by the Pew Research Center and by Gallupalso reported that Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is at an all-time high.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org

Yes, We Cannabis

An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the legalization of marijuana is inevitable. We’ll soon find out if they’re right.

Voters in Alaska and possibly Oregon will decide this November whether their states will join Colorado and Washington in legalizing the commercial sale and recreational use of pot. Similar initiatives are at varying stages in more than a half-dozen other states—Nevada, Arizona, and California among them—where advocates are looking toward 2016, when they hope the presidential election will turn out enough liberals to push those efforts across the finish line. All told, more than 1 in 5 Americans live in states where marijuana use has a legitimate chance to become legal between now and when President Obama leaves office.

It’s not just at the ballot box where the pro-pot crowd is putting points on the board. Lawmakers in at least 40 states have eased at least some drug laws since 2009, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, proposals to treat pot like alcohol have been introduced in 18 states and the District of Columbia this year alone. Meanwhile, 16 states have already decriminalized marijuana, according to the pro-pot group NORML—Maryland will become the 17th in October. In large swaths of the country getting caught with a small amount of weed at a concert is now roughly the same as getting a speeding ticket on the way to the show.

While not leading the charge, the Obama administration is allowing states the chance to experiment. The feds have given a qualified greenlight to Colorado and Washington to dabble in recreational weed, and have even taken small steps to encourage banks to do business with those companies involved in the quasi-legal pot trade

Choom Gang Rising

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: I don’t smoke marijuana, a fact that many Americans no doubt consider a criminal waste of a three-year residency in the Netherlands. But I support others’ right to do so! And it looks like a majority of Americans now agree with me. Pew reports that for the first time since it started asking the question in 1969, Americans solidly support marijuana legalization, by a 58% to 39% margin. [Read more…]

Choom Gang Rising

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: I don’t smoke marijuana, a fact that many Americans no doubt consider a criminal waste of a three-year residency in the Netherlands. But I support others’ right to do so! And it looks like a majority of Americans now agree with me. Pew reports that for the first time since it started asking the question in 1969, Americans solidly support marijuana legalization, by a 58% to 39% margin. [Read more…]