Annual Gallup Poll Shows Record High Support for Making Marijuana Legal

Oct 19, 2016 gallup, majority, poll, public support


Every year for nearly half a century, Gallup has conducted a poll to determine national support for making marijuana legal in the United States. The latest report shows the largest level of support in the history of the poll.

Gallup reports:

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With voters in several states deciding this fall whether to legalize the use of marijuana, public support for making it legal has reached 60% -- its highest level in Gallup's 47-year trend.

Marijuana use is currently legal in four states and the District of Columbia, and legalization measures are on the ballot in five more -- California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada -- this November. As a result, the percentage of Americans living in states where pot use is legal could rise from the current 5% to as much as 25% if all of these ballot measures pass.

When Gallup first asked this question in 1969, 12% of Americans supported the legalization of marijuana use. In the late 1970s, support rose to 28% but began to retreat in the 1980s during the era of the "Just Say No" to drugs campaign. Support stayed in the 25% range through 1995, but increased to 31% in 2000 and has continued climbing since then.

In 2013, support for legalization reached a majority for the first time after Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Since then, a majority of Americans have continued to say they think the use of marijuana should be made legal.

A Pew Research Center poll released earlier in October showed national support at 57%, which was also a record for that survey.