Record-High Support for Legalizing Marijuana Use in U.S.


According to the Gallup survey, Americans' support for legalizing pot has grown since they poll first asked the question in 1969, when just 12 percent supported the proposal.

The latest survey marked the first time that a majority of Republicans supported marijuana legalization. Although more Democrats favored legalization - up to 72 percent from 67 percent - support fell among Independents to 67 percent from 70 percent.

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

"An overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents support regulating and taxing marijuana", said Sam Tracy, director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.

California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, paving the way for 28 other states and the nation's capital to follow suit. While still illegal at the federal level, the issue was featured on a number of state ballot initiatives in 2016, and with eight states and the District of Columbia having fully legalized marijuana, more than one in five Americans live in a state where they can legally enjoy use of the drug.

Of course, we're all ignoring the more interesting point here - that, between 2016 and 2017, Republicans polled by Gallup on legalizing marijuana jumped "up nine percentage points". The margin of error is 4 percentage points. In 2010 Democrats were nearly twice as likely as Republicans to favor legalization.

Legal marijuana now has equal support to gay marriage among Americans, Gallup notes.

"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.

Coloradans voted in 2012 to legalize recreational marijuana, meanwhile, opening the door for the country's first state-licensed retail pot shops to open in January 2014.

Tom Angell, founder of Marijuana Majority, a cannabis advocacy group, told Business Insider in a statement that it would be "politically disastrous", for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to initiate a crackdown on state-legal marijuana businesses.