Poll Finds Support of Legal Weed at an All-time High

New Gallup Poll Shows Record Support For Cannabis Legalization

Gallup poll results released Wednesday found that 64 percent of adult survey respondents said they thought the use of marijuana should be made legal.

The information comes from a Gallup poll from Wednesday which says that the 64% of Americans supporting legalization is the highest level of support in almost five decades of poll taking by Gallup on the topic.

The poll found that 51% of Republicans support marijuana legalization, a figure up nine points from a Gallup poll conducted a year ago. Back in 1969, only 12% of adults supported legalization. Support has steadily increased in recent years, with the latest figure up four percentage points over last year, and up 14 percentage points from 2011. By increasing numbers, Americans were becoming comfortable with the idea of legalizing marijuana and the support for changing the laws regulating it at the state level only looked to be increasing in the future.

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Fourteen years ago, public opinion was an inverse image of where it's at today: 64 percent of adults surveyed opposed marijuana legalization, 34 percent said it should be legal and 2 percent had no opinion. This is the highest approval rating marijuana legalization has ever reached in a Gallup poll.

A number of states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana at the state level and more than two dozen, including the district, have legalized it for medical purposes. Eight states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized marijuana, meaning more than one in five Americans now live in a state where the drug is legal. Even larger majorities of independents (67 percent) and Democrats (72 percent) are in favor of legal marijuana. 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. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The sharp shift in Republican voters' views on pot is the most significant finding in the Gallup poll, coming during a time of increased federal skepticism of marijuana legalization efforts. Sessions has repeatedly criticized marijuana legalization, according to Forbes. The majority of state legislatures and governors' seats are controlled by the GOP.

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