The number of Americans who favor marijuana legalization continues to steadily climb. The latest Gallup poll results released last week showed 64 percent of adults who took place in the survey believe the use of marijuana should be legal. When Gallup asked the same question 14 years ago, 64 percent of adults opposed legalization.
Gallup Poll Shows Dramatic Increase in Republicans Who Favor Marijuana Legalization
Gallup results also showed more Republicans than not now favor legal cannabis. With 51 percent favoring marijuana legalization, there is now majority support by Republicans for the first time in history on the issue of legal cannabis. These numbers are up dramatically from just last year, when 42 percent of Republicans said they supported legal marijuana.
The question Gallup posed made no reference to recreational or medical marijuana. Instead it asked survey respondents: “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?”
Results Show a “Dramatic Change” in Public Opinion
According to Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor in chief, “The steady increase in the support for legalized marijuana over the past 12 years, from 36 percent to 64 percent, is one of the most dramatic changes in public opinion in such a short period of time we have monitored in Gallup’s history.”
So why such a dramatic change? Newport believes there’s a few reasons for the positive change in public opinion.
“Part of the explanation,” he explains, “lies with attitudes following the real world, as more states and jurisdictions made the decision to legalize marijuana and as that reality becomes widely known.”
Newport goes on to add that “part lies with a general liberalizing shift in Americans’ attitudes towards a number of values issues, including same sex marriage, unwed motherhood, and teenagers having sexual relations.”
He sums up the reasons he believes more Americans than ever favor legal marijuana by saying, “Part of the explanation could lie with the shifting demographics of the country, with the decreasing impact of older Americans, particularly those 65 and up, who are by far the least likely to approve of legalization.”
Whatever the reasons may be, there’s no hiding that public approval of pot has hit a record high. Marijuana legalization efforts across the country have begun to pay off. Gallup officials note that public opinion is right in step with legalization efforts. As outdated policies continue to crumble, and more people ignore myths associated with cannabis and become educated about its benefits, support for cannabis only continues to climb.