Record-High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use
Record-High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use.
A record-high 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46% last year. Forty-six percent say marijuana use should remain illegal.
When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12% of Americans favored it, while 84% were opposed. Support remained in the mid-20s in Gallup measures from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but has crept up since, passing 30% in 2000 and 40% in 2009 before reaching the 50% level in this year’s Oct. 6-9 annual Crime survey.
A Gallup survey last year found that 70% favored making it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana in order to reduce pain and suffering. Americans have consistently been more likely to favor the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes than to favor its legalization generally.
Support for legalizing marijuana is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62% approval among those 18 to 29 down to 31% among those 65 and older. Liberals are twice as likely as conservatives to favor legalizing marijuana. And Democrats and independents are more likely to be in favor than are Republicans.
NeilS – I’m not sure if this is a foregone conclusion, but if the last 30+ years of data is any indication, then marijuana may be legal nearer in the future than many of us had imagined. Of course, I could go on all day about the merits (or lack thereof) of the legalization of marijuana, but in the end shouldn’t it be the pure democratic majority that creates the change? Unfortunately, it seems we live in a time when the “silent majority” is often not heard as politics become more divided by partisanship and party leaders listen more to the money and their loud extremist base than to what the people really want.
In any case, the inevitability of the majority seems nigh, and it will be interesting to see how our government and populace come to terms with the logistics of what truly legalized marijuana will look like. I wonder if some people, although clamoring for it now, may not love it so much once it is legalized. Others that are vehemently opposed may notice no difference in their life and shrug it off. It will be important to see how special interests and lobbying will play a role in shaping any legislation for legalization of marijuana. Does Phillip Morris already have an initiative ready to unleash marijuana cigarettes if it is legalized?