64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana

64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana

64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana

The latest figure, based on an October 5-11 Gallup poll, follows shifts in the USA legal landscape regarding marijuana since Gallup's 2016 measure.

Cannabis legalization support continues to rise in the United States, as a new Gallup poll finds that 64% of adults believe that cannabis prohibition should end.

The poll also showed a majority of Republicans favoring legalization for the first time, with 51 percent expressing support. Public support for marijuana legalization remained stagnant for decades until reaching 34 percent in 2001 and has steadily grown each successive year.

Gallup first asked national adults about their views on the topic in 1969, when 12% supported legalization. "We urge the Department of Justice in particular to continue its policy of not interfering in states with well-regulated adult-use and medical marijuana programs while lawmakers catch up to the will of the people".

As for Democrats, 72% support legalization, up from 67% when Gallup polled the question a year ago, and 67% of independents support legalization as well.

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. 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. Gallup attributes the growing consensus to "efforts to legalize marijuana at the state level" and the success that followed. That's the most support that Gallup has picked up in 48 years of polling on this question. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Legal marijuana now has equal support to gay marriage among Americans, Gallup notes. "Rank-and-file Republicans' views on the issue have evolved just as Democrats' and independents' have". The majority of state legislatures and governors' seats are controlled by the GOP.

"Marijuana legalization is far more popular than Jeff Sessions or Donald Trump and will survive them both", Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. Despite this slower pace, though, the trend toward more liberal marijuana laws and eventually nationwide legalization, seems to be fairly clear.

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