Over the past decade, Americans have completely changed their tune on cannabis. Once the symbol of lazy outcasts everywhere, more and more people are embracing cannabis and its legalization. Results from a new Pew Research Center study claims that six in every ten Americans now support marijuana legalization.
Back in 2000, only 31 percent of Americans supported legalization. Data from the Pew Research Center shows that figure doubling to 62 percent in 2018. That statistic is the highest ever recorded for American support of legalization from the Pew Research Center and similar polls like it.
“A growing majority of Americans are ready to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and move on,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement. “They see states regulating marijuana for medical and adult use, and they recognize it is a much more effective approach. Laws that treat cannabis consumers like criminals and disproportionately impact communities of color are steadily losing popularity across the U.S.”
The study gathered this data from 1,754 adults who responded via telephone. As expected, generational divide heavily plays into support for cannabis legalization, with millennials leading the pack (74%), followed by Gen Xers (63%) and baby boomers (54%). Almost seven in ten Democrats support legalization (69%) while independents who lean liberal are even more in favor of legalization (75%).
“Voters are steadily moving in one direction on this issue, and elected officials are taking notice,” Hawkins said. “States are reevaluating their old prohibition laws and starting to plan their exit strategies. It is time for Congress to do the same and end prohibition at the federal level.”
Both Michigan and North Dakota will decide this November whether to legalize adult-use marijuana while Utah and Missouri voters will decide on medical use.