As voters in nine states get ready to decide in less than a month whether legal marijuana in some form or another is a good idea, a new study shows that 57 percent of Americans support it.
The Pew Research Center survey, released on Wednesday, demonstrated widespread support for sensible cannabis laws in nearly every demographic.
“It’s more clear than ever which way the country is moving on marijuana,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. “Legalization is polling much better than either presidential candidate, and politicians should do more to appeal to this growing constituency.”
The poll, conducted in August, shows 37 percent against legalization. A decade ago, opinion on legalizing marijuana was nearly the reverse – just 32% favored legalization, while 60% were opposed, Pew reported.
A look inside the polling data reveals some interesting trends:
Young Americans want change the most
Millennials – those ages 18 to 35 – are more than twice as likely to support legalization of marijuana as they were in 2006 (71 percent today, up from 34% in 2006), and are significantly more likely to support legalization than other generations. Among Gen Xers — ages 36 to 51 — a majority (57 percent) support legalization, a considerable jump from just 21 percent in 1990.
But even Baby Boomers— ages 52 to 70 — are seeing the light: 56% percent support legalization, up from just 17 percent in 1990.
Democrats more weed-friendly
Democrats favor legalizing marijuana over having it be illegal (66 percent t0 30 percent). Most Republicans (55 percent) oppose marijuana legalization, while 41 percent favor it.
According to the Pew report:
“Republicans are internally divided over marijuana legalization. By a wide margin (63 percent to 35 percent), moderate and liberal Republicans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. By contrast, 62 percent of conservative Republicans oppose legalizing marijuana use, while just 33 percent favor it.
The differences among Democrats are more modest. Liberal Democrats are 23 percentage points more likely than conservative and moderate Democrats to favor legalization (78% vs. 55%).
“No matter what happens in November, we know that a growing majority of Americans support ending cannabis prohibition,” Angell said. “And the next president and Congress need to make it a priority to finally end outdated federal prohibition laws that stand in the way of full and effective implementation of state policies.”
On Nov. 8, recreational marijuana measures are on the ballot in California, Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona and Nevada. Voters in Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana will decide on some form of medical marijuana.
Highway is an essential source for cannabis science, how-to stories and demystifying marijuana. Want to read more? Thy these posts: One Man’s Journey In Pursuit Of The Truth Behind Marijuana Prohibition, Marijuana Myth Busting: Does Holding In Smoke Get You Higher? and A Drag Queen’s Visit To The Cannabis Store.
Posted By: Al Olson