Two out of three American adults now support cannabis legalization, according to a new Gallup survey. This number marks an all-time high in Gallup’s decades-long series of national polls on the issue of ending cannabis prohibition.
The new survey, which was released by the research-based global performance-management consulting firm on Monday, shows that American adults are in favor of legalizing the drug by a supermajority margin of 66% to 32%. That means a more than two-to-one ratio.
Record-breaking for 3 consecutive years
Gallup has found a record-breaking increase in cannabis legalization support for three years in a row now. The firm has been polling about cannabis for 49 years.
When the firm first started their survey in 1969, only 12% of respondents said that they were in favor of legalizing pot.
Support grew in the 1970s. However, it stagnated in the 20% range until the 2000s came, when momentum for pot legalization picked up once again. Support for legalizing cannabis trended steeply upward in the new millennium, although barely one-third of U.S. adults were on board in 2005.
Support for legalization reached the majority for the very first time in 2013. This was the year after voters in the states of Colorado and Washington approved legal recreational cannabis via ballot initiatives. This made them the first states to completely end cannabis prohibition.
Marijuana use continues to be illegal at the federal level.
2017 vs. 2018
In 2017, the survey pegged the support level at 64%. Aside from the two percentage point-increase in support, the level of opposition in 2018 also dropped two percentage points from 2017. Last year, 34% of adults oppose legalization, while this year, only 32% do.
Support for legal marijuana among Americans aged 55 and older rose significantly in the last year, from 50% to 59%.
Democrats vs. Republicans vs. Independents
Gallup also noted that a majority of both Republicans and Democrats support legalization. More specifically, 53% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats are in for legalizing cannabis. Both of these numbers reflect a rise from last year’s.
As for independents, 71% of them back cannabis legalization.
How the poll was done
The survey was conducted from October 1 to 10 and involved 1,019 adults. Its margin of error is 4 percentage points.
Needless to say, the poll was completed a week before Canada officially legalized recreational cannabis and launched its pot market on Oct. 17. It is the second country to do so after Uruguay.