Gallup Finds Record Support for Legalizing Marijuana, Including Most Republicans

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Increased support for legalization coincides with the increased legality of marijuana throughout America in statewide ballot measures, according to Gallup.

For the first time since that 1969 poll, a majority of Republican voters told Gallup they are in favor of legalizing marijuana.

New polling indicates that more Americans support marijuana legalization than they have in almost 50 years. They have been putting out the same poll since 1969 when only 12% of Americans backed legalization.

The number of respondents who said they support the legalization of marijuana hit 64% this week, up from 60% in 2016.

The biggest news in this survey is not that a majority of Americans want weed to be made legal - that's been true since at least 2013 - but that Republicans are finally coming around. Gallup attributes the growing consensus to "efforts to legalize marijuana at the state level" and the success that followed.

Of course, we're all ignoring the more interesting point here - that, between 2016 and 2017, Republicans polled by Gallup on legalizing marijuana jumped "up nine percentage points". Even larger majorities of independents (67 percent) and Democrats (72 percent) are in favor of legal marijuana. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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. In the case of marriage equality, numerous changes in the law came through court rulings that found the laws against same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional and it was ultimately a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide.

Coloradans voted in 2012 to legalize recreational marijuana, meanwhile, opening the door for the country's first state-licensed retail pot shops to open in January 2014.

"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.

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.

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