Support for Cannabis Legalization Is Uniting Americans

A supermajority of Americans, including those with different political party ties, education, and income agree cannabis should be legal.

Among a divided political landscape there is one issue which a supermajority of Americans agrees upon– cannabis should be legal in the United States. Cannabis legalization has gained enough bipartisan support that nearly two out of three Americans now endorse its reform.

The latest data showing most Americans support cannabis legalization is based on Gallup’s annual Crime survey, which was conducted from Oct. 1-13. The same level of support was also found in an interview survey Gallup conducted in May.

The new Gallup poll found 66 percent of Americans, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, endorse marijuana legalization. The percentage reflects consistent support for legalization since the last annual report in 2018, which also found 66 percent in favor.

The steady degree of cannabis legalization endorsement comes after 13 continuous years of increasing support. Between 2005 and 2018, cannabis support increased by 30 percent, according to Gallup.

Marijuana Popular Across Political Affiliations

While more Democrats and Independents favor marijuana reform than Republicans, overall Gallup found that support for legalizing marijuana is widespread.

“There are essentially no meaningful differences in support for legal marijuana by gender, education, income, region and urban/suburban/rural residence,” according to Gallup.

The differences in variations of support were found to be greater by political ideology than by partisanship.

According to the Gallup report, “Twenty-five points separate Democratic (76%) and Republican (51%) support for making marijuana legal, with independents (68%) near the national average.”

Among the subgroups who by majority do not favor legalization are people who attend weekly religious services, people aged 65 and older, and those who identify with the political ideology of a “conservative.”

The latest Gallup poll was released on Oct. 23 and can be found, here.

Mounting Evidence of Strong Support

The new Gallup poll is one of many national surveys showing strong support for cannabis legalization. A nationwide survey released just days before the Gallup poll results found a slightly higher percentage of support for legalization.

The survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, a non-partisan research and public policy institute, estimated 67 percent or every two out of three Americans support cannabis legalization for recreational purposes.

In March, results from a Quinnipiac University Poll were released, indicating 6 out of 10 Americans are in favor of the U.S. legalizing cannabis.

According to the Quinnipiac survey, only 33 percent of those in the U.S. oppose legalization. Over the last several years, Quinnipiac surveys have revealed a trend of growing support for legal marijuana. The shift began in 2012, the year that both Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use marijuana, when 51 percent of respondents favored full legalization.

A 2018 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found 62 percent of Americans support cannabis legalization. The finding represented the highest percentage ever recorded since the Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan fact tank started tracking Americans’ attitudes on marijuana in 1969.

Find out which states have passed cannabis legalization bills, and where laws are being considered by checking out our Where Is Marijuana Legal? page.

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