70% of Americans, Including 55% of Republicans, Now Want Legal Weed in America According to a New Gallup Poll

November 19, 2023 · Cannabis.net

According to a recent Gallup poll released on Wednesday, nationwide grassroots support for the legalization of marijuana has reached a historic high of 70%.

Prior to this latest survey, legalization support had remained steady at 68% for three consecutive years. The poll reveals that half of Americans have experimented with marijuana at some point in their lives, and currently, 17% acknowledge using it. Notably, Ohio voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday, making it the 23rd state to do so. Presently, over three dozen states have operational medical cannabis programs.

In a statement, Gallup noted, “The nation has achieved a broad consensus on marijuana legalization, with a solid seven in 10 individuals now in favor.” The statement emphasizes that not only do a majority of U.S. adults support it, but this sentiment is shared across all major political and ideological groups. This marks the second consecutive year where majority support for legalization is observed among various subgroups, including age, political affiliation, and ideology.

Support for legal marijuana use is most pronounced among self-identified liberals at 91%, with Democrats closely following at 87%. Among conservatives, support for legalization stands at 52%, and among Republicans, it is at 55%, as per Gallup.

Gallup’s statement notes, “Self-identified conservatives were the last major subgroup to express majority support, reaching 51% in 2022. Republicans first gave marijuana majority-level backing in 2017.”

Despite concerns raised by some health organizations and political commentators about the medical risks associated with marijuana, Gallup observes that such concerns have not yet affected the public’s support for legalization.

The latest Gallup findings indicate no significant variations by gender, race, or education level regarding marijuana legalization. Geographically, the Midwest exhibits the highest support for legal marijuana at 75%, followed by 72% in the West, 70% in the South, and 64% in the East.

Among age groups, those between 18 and 34 reported the highest support for legalization at 79%, while individuals aged 55 and older expressed a slightly lower rate of support at 64%. Men are more supportive of legalization at 72%, compared to women at 68%.

Gallup mentions that national support crossed the 50% threshold in 2013, with only 12% expressing support for marijuana legalization in Gallup’s 1969 poll. Delaware became the 22nd U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana in April, with the governor allowing two bills passed by the state legislature to become law without his signature.

Demographic Perspectives: Unveiling Varied Support Among Age Groups, Political Affiliations, and Regions

The Gallup poll’s revelation of a historic 70% nationwide support for U.S. marijuana legalization prompts a nuanced examination of demographic perspectives, uncovering intriguing patterns within distinct population segments. A stark generational contrast emerges among age groups, with an overwhelming 79% of individuals aged 18 to 34 expressing robust support for legalization. In contrast, individuals aged 55 and older demonstrate a slightly more conservative stance, registering a 64% rate of support. This generational divergence signifies a notable shift in societal attitudes, with younger demographics driving the surge in overall support.

Delving into the political landscape, the data underscores the role of political affiliations in shaping attitudes towards marijuana legalization. Self-identified liberals showcase the highest support at an impressive 91%, closely followed by Democrats at 87%. On the conservative side, both conservatives and Republicans exhibit more reserved support, with rates standing at 52% and 55%, respectively. This disparity emphasizes the political dimensions influencing the marijuana legalization discourse, showcasing how ideological affiliations contribute to the evolving societal perspective on cannabis.

Geographical variations further enrich the understanding of support for marijuana legalization. The Midwest emerges as the region with the highest backing at 75%, indicating a regional trend in favor of legalization. Following closely, the West boasts a strong 72% support, while the South and the East register at 70% and 64%, respectively. These regional nuances highlight the diverse attitudes towards marijuana legalization across the United States, adding layers of complexity to the broader narrative of changing societal views on cannabis.

Consistent Momentum: Historical Trends and the Steady Rise of Marijuana Advocacy

Beyond the contemporary snapshot of 70% support, the second subheading delves into the historical trends that have paved the way for this monumental shift in public sentiment towards marijuana legalization. The journey commenced in 2013 when national support crossed the 50% threshold, signifying a critical turning point. Gallup’s inaugural poll in 1969 paints a stark contrast, with merely 12% of respondents expressing support for marijuana legalization. This historical perspective underscores the steady and persistent momentum building over decades, revealing a society that has progressively embraced the idea of legalizing cannabis.

The consistency in the rise of marijuana advocacy becomes particularly evident as the data indicates three consecutive years of steady support at 68%, preceding the current historic high of 70%. This sustained upward trajectory suggests that the movement towards legalization is not a fleeting trend but a sustained evolution in public perception. The historical context illuminates a societal transformation wherein marijuana, once stigmatized and marginalized, has gained widespread acceptance, marking a societal paradigm shift that extends beyond fleeting popular opinion.

By examining this historical momentum, readers gain insights into the enduring nature of the marijuana advocacy movement, offering a comprehensive understanding of the roots and resilience of the evolving public sentiment that has led to the present-day milestone supporting U.S. marijuana legalization.

Bottom Line

The recent Gallup poll, revealing a historic 70% nationwide support for U.S. marijuana legalization, signifies a transformative moment in societal acceptance of cannabis. The data’s detailed exploration of age groups, political affiliations, and regional differences illuminates a nuanced narrative, underlining the widespread nature of this evolving consensus. Beyond the statistics, the sustained upward trajectory over the years, coupled with legislative actions such as Ohio’s recent move, emphasizes the profound impact of public sentiment on the legal landscape for cannabis. The historical context further solidifies the understanding that this surge in support is not merely a passing trend but a lasting societal shift. As Delaware joins the league of states embracing recreational marijuana and numerous others operate medical cannabis programs, it’s clear that the journey toward widespread acceptance of marijuana is marking a new era, reshaping perceptions and policies surrounding cannabis in the United States. (Full Story)

In category:Legalization
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