A new Gallup poll released Monday has found that support for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has reached a record high of 66%, with just 32% opposed.
The poll found majority support spans the political spectrum, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents in favor. Support among Republicans grew to 53%, up from 51% last year, with opposition dropping to just 45%. Approximately two out of three voters support legalization in each of the four major geographic regions of the country.
The poll results come as voters in two states, Michigan and North Dakota, are considering ballot initiatives to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. Nine U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and one U.S. territory, the Northern Mariana Islands, have enacted laws making marijuana legal for adults 21 and older. Eight of those states and the Northern Marianas have also established systems for regulating commercial cultivation and sales.
“There is a growing sense among the U.S. population that it is time to end our nation’s failed experiment with marijuana prohibition”, says Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “People are sick and tired of adults being treated like criminals simply for consuming a substance that is, by every objective measure, less harmful than alcohol. Americans are more informed about cannabis than ever before, and they can now see that regulation is a viable and effective alternative to prohibition.”
Hawkins continues; “There are not many issues out there that enjoy majority support among both of the major political parties and in every region of the country. This support is consistently translating into wins at the ballot box, and it should further motivate elected officials to take action at the state and federal levels. Hopefully lawmakers are paying attention to this clear trend in public opinion. If they ignore these poll numbers, they do so at the risk of seeing a drop in their own.”