Support for cannabis legalization in the U.S. has reached record levels, as a recent Gallup poll found 64 percent of respondents supported reforms – including, for the first time, 51 percent of Republicans.
Gallup has been polling adults about cannabis legalization since 1969, when just 12 percent supported the idea. Support doubled in the 1980s, and reached 50 percent for the first time in 2011 – but legalization has never before had majority support among Republicans. The poll, conducted Oct. 5-11, found 72 percent of Democrats supported legalization along with 67 percent of independents. Majority support for legalization among Democrats occurred in 2009, and among independents in 2010.
Justin Strekal, NORML political director, said that the data endorses legalizing cannabis use for adults and that prohibition “makes no sense from a political, fiscal, or moral perspective.”
“It is high time that members of Congress take action to comport federal law with majority public opinion and to end the needless criminalization of marijuana – a policy failure that encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, and disproportionately impacts communities of color,” he said in a statement.
The Gallup poll surveyed 1,028 adults throughout all 50 U.S. states.