Poll Reveals Most Americans Approve Of Legal Marijuana Laws

Published on April 30, 2020, By Marie Graham

Legalization Marijuana News

Americans approve of legal marijuana

A recent poll found that fifty-five percent of American adults think that the laws regulating the legal cannabis markets in some states are successful, or that they are at least “more of a success than a failure.”

The survey, taken by YouGov on April 20 of this year, asked 27,328 Americans living in the states that have already enacted laws to legalize marijuana, “Do you think the legislation has been a success or a failure?”

The poll provided 5 response options to participants:

  • Success only
  • More of a success than a failure
  • More of a failure than a success
  • Failure only
  • Don’t know
One in five Americans think legislation for recreational marijuana has been a success

Combining to account for the majority, thirty-six percent of poll participants say the laws regulating the legal cannabis markets in eleven of the states are “more of a success than a failure” and nineteen percent replied that they are a total success. 

Believing the opposite, thirteen percent of respondents stated that recreational legalization laws have been “more of a failure than a success.” Only six percent view the legislation as a complete failure. Unsure of the effectiveness of the laws, twenty-six percent of people replied that they “don’t know.” 

YouGov sorted the survey results according to:

  • Geographical region
  • Gender
  • Political affiliation
  • Age
  • Income level

Significant imbalances in responses among the geographical regions, gender, age, and income levels of poll participants were not observed.

Disparity Among Political Parties

Disparity among political parties for recreational marijuana being a success or a failure

The only category that produced a notable difference among respondents was political party affiliation. Not surprisingly, Democrats and Independents were more likely to reply that the legislation was a “success only” or “more of a success than a failure” than their Republican counterparts. 

Sixty-seven percent of Democrats and fifty-four percent of Independents attested that regulated markets were operating within one of the two positive poll response choices. Forty-one percent of poll participants that described themselves as Republican also categorized the legislation as successful.

Independents (21 percent) were more likely than Democrats (10 percent) to consider the law to be a complete failure or “more of a failure than a success.” Thirty-four percent of Republicans agreed that the legislation is unsuccessful.

National Shift Toward Support

Another YouGov poll administered on the same day found that sixty-two percent of Americans believe that the use of cannabis will be legal in every one of the United States within the next decade and that fifty percent of voters believe that “recreational marijuana should be legalized.”

In-line with the results of this recent poll from YouGov, the opinion of the majority of Americans has been steadily shifting in support of legalization for many years now. A poll released by Gallup last year revealed that an even greater percentage of voters (66 percent) are now in favor of a regulated recreational cannabis market. That number increased from fifty-eight percent, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.


Polls from the last several years show that most voters in states like Maryland, Connecticut, and Wisconsin support the recreational legalization of marijuana. Some large cities in states where the plant has not yet been legalized for recreational use, like New Orleans, LA, and Dallas, TX, have still supported the trend by choosing to decriminalize personal possession.

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