As states continue to reform out-dated marijuana laws, both medical and recreational, public support for legalization is maintaining an all-time high throughout the United States.
According to the most recent survey from Gallup, an organization that has been tracking responses to the question about cannabis legalization since 1969, 58 percent of Americans believe that the use of marijuana should be legal in the United States. The poll has received 58 percent support in each of the last two years (2014-2015), which is a significant increase over the only 48 percent who favored legalization just two years ago (2013).
Gallup has reported in the past that age and political party are two of the bigger distinctions between those who support legalization and those who are against it. While the younger Americans, democrats and independents tend to lean towards nationwide legalization, the older generation and republicans are less likely to agree.
The new study reveals that senior citizens have greatly increased their support of legalization since the original survey in 1969, as their vote is up by more than 30 percent. Even those in the 18-to-34-year-old age group who are in favor of legalization has grown significantly from 20 percent in 1969 to 71 percent today. Tom Angell, the founder of Marijuana Majority, commented on the results of the recent Gallup study,
“These days it’s not especially exciting to see yet another poll showing majority support for legalizing marijuana, but 58 percent is very strong share of the American people calling for change, and elected officials should listen. The constant stream of surveys showing public support for ending prohibition is why we’re seeing an increasing number of national politicians saying that it’s time to at least let states implement their own laws without federal interference.”
“And we’re also seeing a growing number candidates endorsing legalization outright, which shows how mainstream this issue is now. As more states implement marijuana reforms and those laws continue to work as advertised, we’re likely to see even more public support, which should soon spur Congress to formally end the criminalization of cannabis under federal law.”
With four states, as well as the District of Columbia, legalizing marijuana for recreational use, it appears that this trend of growing national support will continue. As the older generations begin to open up to the idea of cannabis policy reform, the percentage of those in favor should continue to rise in the coming years.