WASHINGTON — A new Gallup poll released Wednesday shows support for making marijuana legal in the U.S. has reached a record level of 64%, up from 60% last year and 50% in 2011.
This year’s national survey shows the greatest approval for ending marijuana prohibition in the history of the study, and the first time that a majority of those who identify as Republicans support making marijuana legal (51%).
Voters in eight states have passed initiatives regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol, and marijuana is legal for adults in the nation’s capital.
Advocates in Michigan are expected to qualify an initiative for the ballot next year that would regulate marijuana for adults, and at least 18 states are expected to have legalization bills introduced during their 2018 legislative sessions.
Morgan Fox, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, released the following statement in response to the poll:
“It makes sense that support for ending marijuana prohibition is increasing. Americans are tired of wasting resources arresting hundreds of thousands of individuals every year for using a substance that is safer than alcohol. In the five years since the first states made marijuana legal for adults, it has become increasingly clear that — unlike prohibition — regulation works. Adult-use marijuana laws create jobs, generate tax revenue, and protect consumers while taking the marijuana market out of the hands of criminals.
“As public support for ending marijuana prohibition continues to grow, it is crucial that states continue to be given the freedom to serve as laboratories of democracy. 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.”