64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana

Regulated Cannabis Grow

The number is the highest level of support in almost half a century of surveying adults on the issue, according to Gallup.

Yet perhaps the biggest indicator of legal marijuana's effects on American society comes in the form of a new Gallup poll concerning the subject, which indicates - for the first time ever - that the majority of Republicans think pot should be legalized.

Democrats and independents have historically been much more likely than Republicans to say marijuana should be legalized. Just a year ago, only 42 percent of GOP members surveyed said they supported legalization.

Another fascinating find by Gallup: The growing support of cannabis legalization among the GOP, with 51% of respondents who identify themselves as Republicans now expressing support for legalizing cannabis, up nine percentage points from 2016.




In response to the latest numbers, the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation's largest marijuana-focused policy organization, said the increased support for legalization "makes sense". A majority of Democrats supported it for the first time in 2009, a figure that rose to 72 percent this year.

Already, marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC.

"Instead of wasting limited law enforcement resources trying to stop successful state-level legalization initiatives, U.S. officials should listen to the clear, bipartisan message the public is sending them, and support federal marijuana reform as well", she added. This is the highest approval rating marijuana legalization has ever reached in a Gallup poll. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. That's the most support that Gallup has picked up in 48 years of polling on this question. Earlier this year, Vermont became the first state to approve a bill through its legislature that would have made marijuana legal for adults before being vetoed by the governor. Sessions could have an uphill battle in shoring up support for his anti-marijuana crusade if he cannot even count on his own party.

"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.

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