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For the second year in a row, more Americans support legalizing marijuana than ever before.
According to a new Gallup poll, a whopping 68% said they want to see federal reform when it comes to weed — that’s more than two in three people, a spectrum that crosses political, religious, and cultural divides.
The numbers don’t lie
This latest poll of more than 800 people holds steady with last year’s numbers, which set a new record, continuing an upward swing of support over the last five decades. Gallup says there were particularly sharp increases in the 2000s and 2010s, with a majority of U.S. adults supporting legalization for the first time in 2013.
As was the case in 2020, the majority of supporters include all gender, ages, income brackets, and education status. Unsurprisingly, there are substantive differences when it comes to political party and religion, however.
While most Democrats (83%) and political independents (71%) support legalization, Republicans are nearly evenly split on the question (50% in favor; 49% opposed). Weekly and semiregular attendees of religious services are split on the issue as well, while those who attend infrequently or never are broadly supportive of legalizing marijuana.
Breaking it down
According to NORML, when Gallup first began surveying the question in 1969, only 12% of Americans backed legalization. It increased to 25% by the time California legalized cannabis for medical use in 1996, and has increased almost 20% since 2012 when Colroado and Washington legalized recreational use. Legalization has enjoyed majority support among Americans since 2013.
“There is no buyer’s remorse on the part of the American people. In the era of state-level legalization, voters’ support for this issue has grown rapidly — an indication that these policy changes have been successful and are comporting with voters’ desires and expectations.” NORML’s executive director Erik Altieri said. “Today, voters of every age and in virtually every region of the country agree that marijuana should be legal. We have a mandate from the American people and we intend to make sure that elected officials abide by it.”
While there’s no real sign that the Biden administration will be the one to finally support federal legalization, there’s still hope as top political figures — and huge corporations — are pushing for it.