Support for marijuana legalization hits new all-time high (get it?)

Marijuana TMX Meetings

A record high number of respondents to a Gallup poll released Wednesday said they support the legalization of marijuana, including more than half of Republicans polled. Support was only 12% in 1969 when Gallup first started polling adults on this issue. The latest figure, based on an October 5-11 poll, follows shifts in the legal landscape regarding marijuana since Gallup's 2016 measure.

Public opinion has been in step with successful marijuana legalization efforts across the United States, Gallup officials said. Just previous year, only 42 percent of GOP members surveyed said they supported legalization.

GallupRising support for legalizing marijuana seems to be a function of growing familiarity with it, which is in turn correlated with age.

Morgan Fox, the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement Americans are "tired" of wasting resources arresting individuals for using marijuana. The issue is trending towards non-partisanship, too, with a majority of Democrats (72 percent), Republicans (51 percent) and Independents (67 percent) supporting pot in the most recent poll.

California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, paving the way for 28 other states and the nation's capital to follow suit.

The survey asked over 1,000 people around the country if marijuana use should be legal or not; 64 percent approved of legalization, 34 percent opposed it, and 2 percent had no opinion.

Already, marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC. Attorney General Jeff Sessions remains one of Washington's most anti-weed figures, and earlier this year, then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer erroneously suggested that marijuana could worsen the opioid epidemic.

For the first time since that 1969 poll, a majority of Republican voters told Gallup they are in favor of legalizing marijuana. After rising by 10 points (29 percent) between 2001 and 2009, the percentage of Americans who say pot should be legal rose by 20 points (45 percent) between 2009 and 2017.

Gallup's data shows that the trajectory of Americans' views on cannabis is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades. "This is a clear mandate for the legislature to enact sensible marijuana laws to help the state create a workable budget".



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