Support for Marijuana Legalization Hits All-Time High

Bryan Strickland
October 26, 2017

Overall, 64 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, which is the highest level of support in almost 50 years.

The latest survey marked the first time that a majority of Republicans supported marijuana legalization.

When Gallup first posed the marijuana legalization question in October 1969, only 12 percent of respondents were in favor.

Every once and awhile a poll comes out that says that more Americans than ever support marijuana legalization.

"It makes sense that support for ending marijuana prohibition is increasing", said Morgan Fox, the director of communications for Marijuana Policy Project, the nation's largest organization devoted to reforming cannabis laws.

The newest results also mark the first time that a majority of both Democrats and Republicans acknowledged supporting legalization, according to pollsters.

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Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but states have been taking the matter into their own hands and voting to approve sales of medical and recreational cannabis.

The biggest news in this survey is not that a majority of Americans want weed to be made legal - that's been true since at least 2013 - but that Republicans are finally coming around.

A number of states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana at the state level and more than two dozen, including the district, have legalized it for medical purposes.

Overall support for legalization has been rising since the mid-1980s, but the upward trend has accelerated in recent years as more and more states have moved away from prohibition. Eight states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized marijuana, meaning more than one in five Americans now live in a state where the drug is legal. That still lags far behind Democrats at 72 percent and Independents at 67 percent.

"Marijuana policy liberalization over the past 20 years has certainly been associated with increased marijuana use; however, policy changes appear to have occurred in response to changing attitudes within states and to have effects on attitudes and behaviors more generally in the U.S." the study stated. The majority of state legislatures and governors' seats are controlled by the GOP. Sessions has repeatedly criticized marijuana legalization, according to Forbes.

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