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In response to the survey, file numbers of Individuals help marijuana legalization

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A new Gallup poll released this morning found that 68% of Americans believe cannabis should be legalized, the highest percentage in more than 50 years.

The Gallup organization began asking Americans about marijuana back in 1969. At the time, only 12% of respondents said it should be legal.

The number ranged from 25 to 30% between 1975 and 2000. Then it began to rise steadily.

Americans really like legalization

Gallup-Poll-Marijuana-2020Support for legalization began to grow steadily in the early 2000s. It is now 68%. (Gallup organization)

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Queryed shortly before the election

The latest data is from September 30th through October 30th. Prior to the election, 15 polls were conducted with a sample of 1,035 adults from all 50 states, with legalization proposals in several states on the ballot. Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota approved the legal use of adult marijuana in the November 3rd election. They join 11 other states and the District of Columbia.

In addition, voters in Mississippi and South Dakota are working with 33 states and the District of Columbia to pass laws that legalize or decriminalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

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Age remains a major difference

As in many previous polls, support for legalization is tracked with age. Older Americans tend to be less supportive, while younger respondents tend to be more in favor of legalization. Almost 80% of Americans ages 18-29 support legalization, while only 55% of Americans 65 and over agree.

Marijuana Legalization Survey DemographicsYounger Americans are far more in favor of legalization than their elders. (Gallup organization)

Republican support is falling slightly

Democrats still advocate legalization in greater numbers than Republicans. 83% of blue voters support it and 48% of red voters agree.

Republican support fell slightly last year, from 51% in 2019 to 48% in 2020.

Marijuana-Legalization-Survey-Party-Affiliation-2020Democrats are still more in favor of legalization than Republicans. (Gallup organization)

Since 2012, when Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, there has been a steady movement toward state legalization.

During that period, American support for marijuana legalization rose 20 points to a record high of 68%. Legalization has been largely supported by the public since 2013. In addition, Gallup data from earlier this year found that 70% of adults in the United States consider marijuana smoking to be morally acceptable, up five percentage points in one year.

Bruce Barcott

Bruce Barcott, Leafly’s senior editor, oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

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