Support for Marijuana Legalization Hits All-Time High

Regulated Cannabis Grow

Poll: 64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana

In last year's poll, support hit 60 percent for the first time. This is the highest level of public support Gallup has found for the proposal in almost a half-century of measurement.

The poll also marks another milestone: It's the first time the majority of Republicans support marijuana legalization, with 51% indicating that they'd like to see the end of federal prohibition.

A new Gallup poll shows 64 percent of Americans now think marijuana should be legal, the highest level since tracking began in 1969. To put that in perspective, only 12% of Americans supported legalization that year.

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GallupRising support for legalizing marijuana seems to be a function of growing familiarity with it, which is in turn correlated with age. Despite 72 percent of Democrats supporting legalization, Senator Cory Booker's bill to make weed legal nationwide has drawn a grand total of zero co-sponsors.

The latest figure, based on an October 5-11 Gallup poll, follows shifts in the US legal landscape regarding marijuana since Gallup's 2016 measure.

These numbers come as legal weed is more accessible than ever across the country, with 29 states and Washington, D.C., allowing access for medical purposes and eight states legalizing recreational marijuana. By 2001, however, about a third of Americans favored legalizing marijuana, and support has steadily increased since.

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Advocates in MI are expected to qualify an initiative for the ballot next year that would regulate marijuana for adults, and at least 18 states are expected to have legalization bills introduced during their 2018 legislative sessions.

"The trajectory of Americans' views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades", Gallup said in its analysis of the data. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked lawmakers to undo federal protections for medical marijuana, repeatedly calling it a "dangerous drug". In the case of marriage equality, numerous changes in the law came through court rulings that found the laws against same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional and it was ultimately a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide. But one surprise from the survey relates to Sessions' own political party. "That bodes well for efforts to pass cannabis laws in more states in 2018 - both on the ballot and through state legislatures".

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