Gallup has conducted a poll every year since 1969 asking Americans if they support marijuana legalization. In 1969, support was at just 12%. That number has risen steadily over the years, and since 2011, a majority of Americans have answered ‘yes’ to the poll question. The results are out for this year, and the result is 58% support, which ties the all time high from two years ago. Per Gallup:
A majority of Americans continue to say marijuana use should be legal in the United States, with 58% holding that view, tying the high point in Gallup’s 46-year trend.
Americans’ support for legal marijuana has steadily grown over time. When Gallup first asked the question, in 1969, 12% of Americans thought marijuana use should be legal, with little change in two early 1970s polls. By the late 1970s, support had increased to about 25%, and held there through the mid-1990s. The percentage of Americans who favored making use of the drug legal exceeded 30% by 2000 and was higher than 40% by 2009.
Over the past six years, support has vacillated a bit, but averaged 48% from 2010 through 2012 and has averaged above the majority level, 56%, since 2013.
The Gallup poll was conducted from October 7-11. The poll involved 1,015 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The results have a margin of error of +/- 4%, and the results fall into a 95% confidence interval for all of you probability and statistics nerds out there. Each sample involved in the poll had a minimum quota of 60% cellphone respondents and 40% landline respondents. Tom Angell from the Marijuana Majority had the following to say about the poll results:
“These days it’s not especially exciting to see yet another poll showing majority support for legalizing marijuana, but 58 percent is very strong share of the American people calling for change, and elected officials should listen. The constant stream of surveys showing public support for ending prohibition is why we’re seeing an increasing number of national politicians saying that it’s time to at least let states implement their own laws without federal interference. And we’re also seeing a growing number candidates endorsing legalization outright, which shows how mainstream this issue is now. As more states implement marijuana reforms and those laws continue to work as advertised, we’re likely to see even more public support, which should soon spur Congress to formally end the criminalization of cannabis under federal law.”