As more states legalize cannabis and more research comes about regarding this plant, the paradigm of thought in the American people about this topic is continually evolving and changing (for the better!). The most recent poll about this subject comes from the Pew Research Center, and is making headlines all over.
Some things to note about the new poll:
–Legalization is supported by 78 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans and partisan differences seem to vary most by age
–There is roughly two-thirds support among every racial, gender and educational group in the U.S.
–Legalization is supported by 63% of boomers, 65% of Gen Xers, 76% of millennials, and just 35% among those older than 74 years
Our colleagues at NORML have done excellent job laying it all out in their press release here…
“The percentage of the public who favors adult-use marijuana legalization has skyrocketed over the past three decades and shows no signs of abating,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “As more and more states have moved forward with their own marijuana liberalization policies in recent years, public support has only grown stronger. At a time when the political divide is larger than ever, the issue of marijuana legalization is one of the few policy issues upon which most Americans agree.”
Sixty-seven percent of respondents say that the “use of marijuana should be made legal.” That is the highest percentage of support ever recorded by Pew, which has been surveying Americans’ attitudes on marijuana policy since 1969. Public support for legalization has more than doubled in the past decade.
The Pew survey is the fourth national poll released in recent weeks showing majority support for cannabis legalization. Recently compiled polling data by Gallup and the Public Religion Research Institute both reported that two-thirds of Americans endorse legalization, while survey data compiled by Harvard reported that 62 percent of US adults back the policy change.
Consistent with other national surveys, support for adult-use legalization was strongest among self-identified Democrats (78 percent) and Millennials (76 percent), but was weaker among Republicans (55 percent) and those born before 1945 (35 percent).
According to Pew, in 1989 only 16 percent of US adults believed that cannabis should be legalized.
The Washington Post adds to the conversation in regards to the current political climate…
Most of the Democratic presidential candidates support legalizing recreational use in some form or another. But there are notable outliers, among them former vice president Joe Biden, who long supported “tough on crime” legislation while he was in the U.S. Senate. He opposes legalization but has signaled a preference to reduce criminal penalties for pot use.
Billionaire Democratic hopeful Mike Bloomberg recently called marijuana legalization “the stupidest thing anyone has ever done.”
President Trump, meanwhile, has had little to say about marijuana one way or another during his time in office, though he did recently reiterate support for letting states decide their own policies.
However, this new poll is just more evidence to support what many of already believe: cannabis should be legalized (legalized right!) and regulated in the United States and, really, worldwide. The war on drugs has clearly failed and its time for a new approach.