Support for marijuana legalization has been growing for a long time. The highest support has ever reached is 58% in previous polls. However, it appears that number has risen even higher based off poll results that were released late last week. Per The Washington Post:
A new survey released today by the the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that a record-high percentage of Americans — 61 percent — say they support marijuana legalization.
The survey uses the same question wording (“Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?”) on marijuana as previous Gallup surveys, which had shown a previous high of 58 percent support for legalization last October.
However, AP-NORC asked a follow-up question that found a considerable amount of nuance in Americans’ support marijuana legalization. Twenty-four percent of legalization supporters said marijuana should be made available “only with a medical prescription.” Another 43 percent said there should be “restrictions on purchase amounts.” And one-third of legalization supporters said there should be “no restrictions” on purchase amounts.
This poll is a great example of how details matter. I will often read poll questions and look at the results, and I’m always left scratching my head. This is very common with campaigns. A poll will ask ‘do you support marijuana legalization?’ However, the poll doesn’t ask what that legalization would look like. Whereas people can agree that prohibition has failed, not every supports home cultivation, or unlimited purchase amounts, and a number of other provisions. These results are still very encouraging though. 61% is 61%, and while it gets a bit hairy when details are added, the fact that over 6 in 10 polled Americans supports recreational reform is outstanding.