A Record Number of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Oct 20, 2016 7:52 AM
A Record Number of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization

A new Gallup poll is showing a record 60 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, the highest percentage ever. 

When Gallup first began polling on marijuana in 1969, only 12 percent of Americans were in favor of legalization. Since the mid-2000s, support for legalization has climbed from just over a third of Americans to the current 60 percent. Given that last year's poll revealed support for legalization at 58 percent, it's hard to argue that this year's numbers are an outlier.

While support for legalization is higher among Democrats and independents (at 67 percent and 70 percent, respectively), Republican support for marijuana legalization has more than doubled in the past decade. In 2005, only 20 percent of Republicans supported legalization, compared to the 42 percent now.

Four states--Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, plus the District of Columbia--have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal use. Five states--Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada--will vote this November on whether or not to join them. Over half of the states have legalized marijuana in some form for medicinal purposes.