Sixty-six percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, which is yet another record- breaker in Gallup’s tracking of cannabis over nearly half a century.
The latest figure, according to the Gallup Poll released on Oct. 22, 2018, marks the third consecutive year that support for legalization has increased. This latest poll, however, establishes a new record.
Back in 1969 when Gallup first started asking Americans about legalizing pot, it was an unpopular idea – only 12% at that time said it should be made legal.
In the1970s support grew slightly, then hovered in the 20% range until the end of the millennium when momentum picked up again.
Since 2000, Gallup has shown that support for legalization “has trended steeply upward.” In 2013, a year after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational weed, approval has been creeping upwards.
This recent poll, conducted between Oct. 1-10 – prior to Canada’s legalization – showed a rise in support among Republicans, building off last year’s figures. This year’s poll, for the first time, showed that 53% of Republicans support legalization.
Democrats and Independents are also trending upward: with Democrats at 75% and independents at 71% in support of legalization.
Older Americans, as we already know, are on board. Gallup found that 59% of Americans aged 55 and older support legalization.
And naturally, younger adults between 18 and 34 are the biggest backers at 78%, while 65% of adults between ages 35 to 54 approve of legalization.
Gallup concludes that all across the land, in all US regions, about two in three people support legalizing cannabis.
“Like support for gay marriage—and in prior years, interracial marriage—support for marijuana legalization has generally only expanded, even if slowly, over the course of multiple decades—raising the question of where the ceiling in support might be,” Gallup’s Justin McCarthy wrote.