Support for marijuana legalization reaches record high, even majority of Republicans back it

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BUSINESS INSIDER)

 

Support for marijuana legalization reaches a record high — and even a majority of Republicans back it

marijuana protestA man holds up a joint during a rally to support the legalization of marijuana on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, April 24, 2017. Smoking pot in public remains illegal everywhere in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

  • 64% Americans support marijuana legalization
  • It’s a record high since the question was first polled in 1969
  • A majority of Republicans support legalization for the first time 

Support for legalizing marijuana just reached a record high, with the vast majority of Americans favoring legalizing the drug, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.

64% of Americans support legalizing marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use, the highest support since Gallup first asked the question in 1969. To put that in perspective, only 12% of Americans supported legalization that year.

The poll also marks another milestone: It’s the first time the majority of Republicans support marijuana legalization, with 51% indicating that they’d like to see the end of federal prohibition. When the question was polled last year, only 43% of Republicans indicated they were in favor of legalization.

Gallup marijuana pollGallup

As for Democrats, 72% support legalization, up from 67% when Gallup polled the question last year, and 67% of independents support legalization as well.

However, support for legalization among independents actually fell by three percentage points since last year, when 70% indicated they were in favor of legalization.

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

“The trajectory of Americans’ views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades. On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64% favor each,” Gallup writes in its analysis of the poll.

Gay marriage had vast public support before any action was taken on the federal level. The Supreme Court ruled to legalize gay marriage nationwide in 2014.

Activists from within the marijuana-legalization community celebrated the poll results.

“Marijuana legalization is far more popular than Jeff Sessions or Donald Trump and will survive them both,” Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.

“Instead of wasting limited law enforcement resources trying to stop successful state-level legalization initiatives, US officials should listen to the clear, bipartisan message the public is sending them, and support federal marijuana reform as well,” she added.

MarijuanaMarijuana plants are seen in an indoor marijuana plantation. REUTERS/Andres Stapff

Tom Angell, founder of Marijuana Majority, a cannabis advocacy group, told Business Insider in a statement that it would be “politically disastrous,” for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to initiate a crackdown on state-legal marijuana businesses.

“Despite threatening rhetoric from some Trump administration officials, Americans’ support for regulating marijuana like alcohol only continues to rise year over year,” Angell added.

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.

“In the five years since the first states made marijuana legal for adults, it has become increasingly clear that — unlike prohibition — regulation works,” he added.

Sen. Cory Booker, the New Jersey Democrat, introduced the Marijuana Justice Act in August to end federal marijuana prohibition.

Sessions, an outspoken opponent of legal marijuana, said during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that he thinks there should be “healthy competition,” among growers of medicinal-grade marijuana for research, though he has hinted at cracking down on state-legal marijuana enterprises.

Marijuana, both medicinal and recreational, is considered an illegal Schedule 1 drug by the federal government. 29 states, however, have legalized some form of medical marijuana and allow doctors to prescribe the drug to patients.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions could find himself out of step with his own party if the current trends continue,” Gallup noted.

Jeff Sessions Once Again Proves He Is Clueless Concerning Marijuana

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

A majority of Republicans are now in favor of marijuana legalization, a new Gallup poll released Wednesday finds.

The poll found that 51% of Republicans support marijuana legalization, a figure up nine points from a Gallup poll conducted last year.
The increase in legalization support comes as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Republican who has frequently criticized the use of marijuana, hasn’t yet announced whether he’ll continue to abide by more lenient Obama-era guidance and avoid enforcing federal law in states that have legalized the drug.
A record-high percentage of Americans — 64% — support marijuana legalization. Support was only 12% in 1969 when Gallup first started polling adults on this issue. A majority of Americans have supported legalization since 2013.
Among Democrats and Independents, legalization support is now 72% and 67%, respectively.
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A number of states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana at the state level and more than two dozen, including the district, have legalized it for medical purposes.
The Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews conducted October 5-11, 2017, with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia.
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