Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to nationwide polling data released today by Gallup.
The percentage ties the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup, and is more than twice the level of support reported in the mid-1990s.
Younger Americans, Democrats and independents are the most likely to favor legalizing cannabis, while Republicans and Americans over the age of 65 are least likely to do so. Among those poll respondents age 18 to 34, 71 percent endorse legalization. Among respondents age 35 to 49 years of age, 64 percent support legalizing marijuana.
“Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is the highest Gallup has measured to date, at 58 percent,” pollsters concluded. “Given the patterns of support by age, that percentage should continue to grow in the future. Younger generations of Americans have been increasingly likely to favor legal use of marijuana as they entered adulthood compared with older generations of Americans when they were the same age decades ago. … Now senior citizens are alone among age groups in opposing pot legalization.
“These trends suggest that state and local governments may come under increasing pressure to ease restrictions on marijuana use, if not go even further like the states of Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in making recreational marijuana use completely legal.”
The 2015 Gallup poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
Commenting on the latest polling data, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Supporting the status quo — the notion that marijuana and those adults who consume it responsibly ought to be criminalized — is now a fringe position in America. These results ought to embolden campaigning politicians, as well as elected officials, to take a more pronounced stance in favor of legalizing and regulating cannabis in a manner that is consistent with the desires of the majority of their constituents.”