More Americans Than Ever Favor Legalizing Marijuana

Posted: Oct 22, 2015 12:30 PM
More Americans Than Ever Favor Legalizing Marijuana

A new Gallup poll shows that 58 percent of Americans--tying the highest number since the survey began in 1969--favor legalizing marijuana.

While support is higher among younger Americans, older Americans are starting to support legalization at higher numbers than ever before.

Gallup has previously reported that two of the biggest differentiators of Americans' opinions on legal marijuana are age and party identification. Younger Americans, Democrats and independents are the most likely of major demographic and political groups to favor legalizing use of the drug, while Republicans and older Americans are least likely to do so.

Younger Americans have always shown the most support of any age group for making marijuana legal, but this has grown from 20% of 18- to 34-year-olds in 1969 to 71% of those in the same age group today. But even older age groups today are more likely to favor legal marijuana than the comparable age groups in the past. For example, 35% of senior citizens today (aged 65 and older) are in favor of legalization, compared with 4% of senior citizens in 1969. Among all age groups, the increase in support has been proportionately greater over the last 15 years than it was between any of the earlier time periods.

Recreational marijuana is currently legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana is legal in just over half of the states.