Support for legalizing marijuana at a record high


Every once and awhile a poll comes out that says that more Americans than ever support marijuana legalization. In the five years since the first states made marijuana legal for adults, it has become increasingly clear that - unlike prohibition - regulation works. Past year support was 28 points, or 67 percent, higher among Democrats. Support increased precipitously in the next decade. Most recently marijuana was legalized in 2016 in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and ME via citizen referenda and voters in a number of other states approved legalization for medicinal purposes.

A majority of Republicans are now in favor of marijuana legalization, a new Gallup poll released Wednesday finds. But one surprise from the survey relates to Sessions' own political party.

Overall, 64 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, which is the highest level of support in almost 50 years. In 2010 Democrats were nearly twice as likely as Republicans to favor legalization.

The sharp shift in Republican voters' views on pot is the most significant finding in the Gallup poll, coming during a time of increased federal skepticism of marijuana legalization efforts. The public's growing acceptance of cannabis contrasts with the policies of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has called for stricter enforcement against the substance. "We urge the Department of Justice in particular to continue its policy of not interfering in states with well-regulated adult-use and medical marijuana programs while lawmakers catch up to the will of the people".

Legal marijuana now has equal support to gay marriage among Americans, Gallup notes.

Overall support for legalization has been rising since the mid-1980s, but the upward trend has accelerated in recent years as more and more states have moved away from prohibition.

Over half the USA has legalized some form of marijuana use.

The Trump administration's Department of Justice (DOJ) is now reviewing a policy from the Obama administration that discouraged federal law enforcement from interfering in state marijuana laws as long as they followed a certain criteria.

Activists from within the marijuana-legalization community celebrated the poll results. At this point it's not a matter of if, but when.

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