National Poll Reveals 61 Percent of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana

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By Mandy Froelich / Truth Theory
Based on a recent survey, the majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing, or outright decriminalizing, marijuana. The component of the cannabis plant has been cultivated and used in various cultures for over 3,000 years. But, during the 1930’s, propaganda resulted in the herb being outlawed and classified as a Schedule I drug. With the support of the American people, it would seem it will only be a matter of time before the plant is legalized, once again, nationwide.

According to the survey released in May, a whopping 61 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization. Most importantly, that support is growing across all demographics and political affiliations. As High Times reports, the wave of support follows the trend of states legalizing medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, or both. Support for the plant is so widespread, the topic of legalization is likely to be an important factor in the upcoming 2020 presidential race.

The data is sourced from the General Social Survey (GSS). As Business Insider reports, the GSS has been monitoring popular opinions regarding marijuana since 1973. This year, the GSS recorded its highest-ever levels of support for legalizing marijuana, with 61 percent of Americans in favor of legalizing the herb.

In 1987 and 1990, support for legalizing marijuana was at its lowest levels. Back then, only 16 percent of the US adult population supported legalization. Oh, how times have changed.

The GSS also broke down support for legalization among a number of demographic and political lines. The numbers reveal some powerful trends, such as the plant has received growing support among Republicans. To some, this was surprising, as conservatives have been the most strongly opposed to legalization.

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Furthermore, there was a notable uptick in support among Republicans. In 2012, only one-third of Republican Party members said they supported legalizing weed. Today, that number is 42 percent.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • 18-34-year-olds show the strongest support, with more than 70 percent of folks in this age bracket voicing support for legalization.
  • Among Democratic voters, 69 percent said they support legalizing cannabis. For independents, that number is 66 percent.
  • According to a geographical breakdown of survey results, the Midwest showed the strongest support for legalization. In that region, a full 68 percent of survey respondents said they support making weed legal.
  • Support for legalization is lowest in the South. There, slightly more than half of the survey respondents voiced support—still a significant percentage.

Americans are clearly ready to smoke, ingest, and use weed as they please. That said, could nationwide legalization occur sooner than we think?

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Image Credit: Joshua Resnick  123RF

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