Just one day after Ohio became the 24th state to legalize cannabis for adults, new polling data shows that more Americans than ever before support cannabis legalization.
Now, according to new Gallup data collected in October, 70% of American adults say they favor legalization, a two-point jump from 68% when pollsters last asked three years ago. Interestingly, support is similar in states that have legalized for adults versus states that haven’t. And there’s slightly stronger support on the west coast and midwest than on the east coast.
“The nation has reached a broad consensus on legalizing marijuana, with a full seven in 10 now supportive,” wrote Lydia Saad, Gallup’s director of U.S. social research.
“Although some health organizations and political commentators have raised concerns about the medical risks of marijuana, this hasn’t blunted the public’s desire for legalization thus far. For now, the high level of support among younger adults suggests national backing will only expand in the years ahead, likely resulting in more states, and perhaps the federal government, moving to legalize it,” Saad continued.
Other trends remain consistent, including that Democrats are more likely to support legalization. Still, all political subgroups, including conservatives, have majority support (conservatives hit 51% support last year, data show). People who identify as “liberals” are at a whopping 91% support.
Support for legalization has risen steadily over the years, a far cry from the 12% support for legalization when Gallup first asked the question in 1969. And now, one in two Americans has reported that they have tried cannabis at least once, up 12 points since 2013 – a year after Colorado and Washington became the first states in the country to legalize – according to Gallup’s July Consumption Habits survey. The same data show that support for legalization has ticked upward alongside broader consumption rates, too.