A national Gallup poll released today showed the American people now overwhelmingly support marijuana legalization. Survey participants were asked very directly, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?”
Those in favor of legalizing cannabis surged 10 percentage points over last year’s Gallup poll to 58%.
This is the first time ever that a Gallup poll showed a majority of the nation wants legalization. Gallup points out that even though it has taken over forty years to reach this threshold, the pace of marijuana acceptance has rapidly accelerated in the last few years.
Gallup writes, “The increasing prevalence of medical marijuana as a socially acceptable way to alleviate symptoms of diseases such as arthritis, and as a way to mitigate side effects of chemotherapy, may have also contributed to Americans’ growing support.”
Although there was a clear divide according to political affiliation, the numbers increased across partisan lines. Only 35% of Republicans support legalization, but that’s up two points over last year. Support among Democrats surged 4 points to 65%, while support among Independents spiked a whopping 12 points to 62%.
The largest divide was found in age, where the under-65 crowd overwhelmingly supports legalization. And although the senior crowd only shows 45% support for legalization, that’s a huge 14% increase from 2011 according to Gallup.
Is this a bellwether moment for marijuana legalization?