Support for marijuana legalization hits new all-time high (get it?)

Brandon Parsons
October 26, 2017

The poll, taken October 5-11, and is the highest level of public support Gallup has found in almost a half-century of measurement, dating back to 1969.

According to a new poll released by Gallup, for the first time ever the majority of Republican voters support marijuana legalization.

Gallup says opposition has dropped to an all-time low at 34%. Back in 1969, only 12% of adults supported legalization.

A record-high percentage of Americans - 64% - support marijuana legalization.

"It makes sense that support for ending marijuana prohibition is increasing", Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of political Independents supported legalization.

California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, paving the way for 28 other states and the nation's capital to follow suit.

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but states have been taking the matter into their own hands and voting to approve sales of medical and recreational cannabis. Most recently marijuana was legalized in 2016 in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and ME via citizen referenda and voters in a number of other states approved legalization for medicinal purposes.

"Instead of wasting limited law enforcement resources trying to stop successful state-level legalization initiatives, U.S. officials should listen to the clear, bipartisan message the public is sending them, and support federal marijuana reform as well", she added. The public's growing acceptance of cannabis contrasts with the policies of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has called for stricter enforcement against the substance. And considering support among Republicans increased by nine percent in one year, you can imagine that number will continue to grow at a quick rate going forward.

Over half the USA has legalized some form of marijuana use.

But greater support for legalization could complicate any administration efforts to crack down on pot. The majority of state legislatures and governors' seats are controlled by the GOP. Despite this slower pace, though, the trend toward more liberal marijuana laws and eventually nationwide legalization, seems to be fairly clear.

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