Support for cannabis legalization in the United States has reached a record high, according to a new Gallup poll.
The results have come less than two weeks after voters approved medical and adult-use cannabis legalization measures in New Jersey, Mississippi, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota.
According to the new poll, American support for adult-use cannabis legalization is at 68 percent, which is the highest the number has been since Gallup began surveying the question in 1969 when only 12 percent responded that they thought that cannabis should be legal.
Twenty-five percent of respondents indicated support for cannabis legalization in 1996, which was the same year that Californians legalized medicinal cannabis use by voting to pass Proposition 215.
A more recent poll that Gallup conducted in 2018 indicated that American support for cannabis legalization was at 66 percent.
“In national polls and at the ballot box, the American public has spoken loudly and clearly,” says NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “The overwhelming majority of Americans favor ending the failed policies of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a policy of legalization, regulation, taxation and public education. Elected officials—at both the state and federal level—ought to be listening.”
Altieri says that the American people do not have buyer’s remorse, and that voter support in virtually every age group and region has grown rapidly for the issue of legalization—which he says is an indication that policy changes have been successful and are in accord with voters’ desires and expectations.
Altieri says that elected officials need to abide by the will of the American people.
According to the new Gallup poll, 48 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats, and 72 percent of Independents say that marijuana should be legal.
There is majority support for legalizing adult-use cannabis among Americans of every age group, including 55 percent of people over the age of 65.
Currently, the District of Columbia (D.C.) and 15 states have adult-use cannabis laws in place or have voted to enact them.
D.C. and 36 states currently have active medical cannabis policies or have voted to enact them.