Over 60 Percent of Americans in Favor of Marijuana Legalization
Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in multiple states this November while support for legalization is continuing its upward trend.
A new poll released Monday from the Pew Research Center says that now 62 percent of Americans are in favor of legal marijuana, a reflection of the steadily increasing support for marijuana legalization over the last few decades.
The upward trend in support for marijuana legalization comes as nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana and 31 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have legalized medical marijuana – despite marijuana still being illegal under federal law.
The 62 percent is only a slight increase over last year, where 61 percent of Americans were in favor of legalization but double the level of support seen in 2000 when 31 percent of Americans favored legalization.
Support for legalization is still divided along generational and political party lines, but it is growing even in groups traditionally adverse to legalization.
Not surprisingly, younger generations show more support for legalization. According to the Pew poll, majorities of Millennials (74 percent), Gen Xers (63 percent) and Baby Boomers (54 percent) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Members of the Silent Generation continue to be the least supportive of legalization (39%), but have become more supportive in the past year. Pew defines the Silent Generation as those born between 1928 and 1945.
Politically, almost seven-in-ten Democrats (69 percent) favor marijuana legalization, as do 75 percent of independents who lean toward the Democratic Party.
Republicans are more evenly divided, with 45 percent in favor of legalizing marijuana and 51 percent against. Fifty-nine percent of independents who lean toward the Republican Party favor marijuana legalization. Just three years ago in 2015, only 39 percent of Republicans backed marijuana legalization.
Marijuana legalization is on the ballot this November. Michigan and North Dakota will vote on legalizing recreational marijuana while Missouri and Utah will decide on legalizing medical marijuana.