According to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey, 61 percent of Americans now believe marijuana should be legalized. The figure represents an all-time high, up from the 58 percent who supported legalization in a Gallup poll last October.
In the poll, 33 percent said cannabis should be legal “with no restrictions,” 43 percent said, if legalized, there should be “restrictions on purchase amounts,” while 24 percent said it should only be legal with a medical prescription.
“This is yet another demonstration of just how ready Americans are for the end of marijuana prohibition,” Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority, a marijuana reform group, said in a Washington Post report. “The growing level of support for legalization that we see in poll after poll is exactly why we’re now in a situation – for the first time in history – where every major presidential candidate in both parties has pledged to let states set their own marijuana laws without federal interference.”
Full legalization was popular among 70 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of independents and 47 percent of Republican respondents.
Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization lobby group, said that despite the overall majority the report “does not show strong support for legalization at all” due to the number of people surveyed that would see marijuana restricted to a medical prescription.
However this poll is just the latest indicating a positive trend for legalization support. At the start of the Obama administration less than half – 44 percent – of Americans supported legalizing the drug.