Record Support for Legalizing Marijuana in the United States

Posted October 26, 2017

Earlier this year, Vermont became the first state to approve a bill through its legislature that would have made marijuana legal for adults before being vetoed by the governor.

The poll, taken October 5-11, and is the highest level of public support Gallup has found in almost a half-century of measurement, dating back to 1969.

In 2011, 50 percent of Gallup survey respondents supported legalization, and in 2001, that number was just 34 percent.

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More Americans than ever support legalizing marijuana, according to the most recent Gallup poll. This represents the highest support Gallup has recorded since it began polling on the issue 48 years ago. A majority of Americans have supported legalization since 2013. Previous year support was 28 points, or 67 percent, higher among Democrats.

"Instead of wasting limited law enforcement resources trying to stop successful state-level legalization initiatives, USA officials should listen to the clear, bipartisan message the public is sending them, and support federal marijuana reform as well", she added.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but the drug has been legalized by eight states and the District of Columbia.

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"Americans are exhausted of wasting resources arresting hundreds of thousands of individuals every year for using a substance that is safer than alcohol", said Morgan Fox, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. When the question was polled past year, only 43% of Republicans indicated they were in favor of legalization. Most recently marijuana was legalized in 2016 in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and ME via citizen referenda and voters in a number of other states approved legalization for medicinal purposes.

"The trajectory of Americans' views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades", Gallup said in its analysis of the data. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

The federal government considers marijuana a Schedule 1 substance with no known medical benefits, but the Trump administration has refrained so far from interfering in states with medical and recreational marijuana laws in place.

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"Attorney General Jeff Sessions could find himself out of step with his own party if the current trends continue", Gallup noted.