Record High: Most Americans Favor Pot Legalization, Even Republicans

Record High: Most Americans Favor Pot Legalization, Even Republicans

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News flash: support for marijuana legalization among Americans is now higher than your ass after that sixth dab last night. In other words, it’s now at a record high.

That’s according to a Gallup poll conducted earlier this month, which surveyed more than a thousand Americans in all 50 states (plus D.C.). The figurative thermometer climbed up this year to 64%. (64 is quickly becoming another lucky number for cannabis, following Proposition 64 in California and Amendment 64 in Colorado.)

Gallup notes that this marks a more-or-less steady rise in popular support of cannabis legalization over the last half century. The first time the research firm conducted their survey, back in 1969, only 12% of Americans were in favor of legalization. By 1980, that percentage had more than doubled.

By the beginning of the new millennium, support for legalizing weed rose to roughly a third of Americans. Since then, support has skyrocketed to its current 64%.

A somewhat surprising finding by Gallup shows that, for the first time in the company’s survey, a majority of Republicans now support marijuana legalization. Democrats have been majority 420-friendly since 2009, independents since 2010, and now the Grand Ole Party has joined the fray, not all that far behind their counterparts, relatively speaking.

“At a time when the majority of states now are regulating marijuana use in some form, and when nearly two-thirds of voters endorse legalizing the plant’s use by adults, it makes no sense from a political, fiscal, or moral perspective to maintain the federal prohibition of marijuana,” Justin Strekal, political director for the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) said in a statement regarding the new poll.

“It is high time that members of Congress take action to comport federal law with majority public opinion and to end the needless criminalization of marijuana — a policy failure that encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.”

Gallup actually found that support for liberal ideas has been climbing more or less on track with acceptance of cannabis. Increasing support for same-sex marriage has mirrored that of cannabis legalization over the last few decades, and now both sit at exactly the same percentage: 64.

This year Gallup found “moral acceptability” among Americans for birth control, divorce, sex between unmarried couples, gay or lesbian relationships, and having a baby all climbing to all time highs. Meanwhile, support for the death penalty and medical testing of animals are now at all time lows, according to the polling service.

Photo via Flickr user Dank Depot

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