Record-high 64 percent of Americans want marijuana legalized

Record-high 64 percent of Americans want marijuana legalized

Record-high 64 percent of Americans want marijuana legalized

For the first time in almost 50 years of Gallup polling on the question, a majority of American Republicans say they support marijuana legalization.

The poll also showed a majority of Republicans favoring legalization for the first time, with 51 percent expressing support.

Gallup says opposition has dropped to an all-time low at 34%.

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.

A man holds up a joint during a rally to support the legalization of marijuana on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, April 24, 2017. Gallup attributes the growing consensus to "efforts to legalize marijuana at the state level" and the success that followed. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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Past year - in advance of nine states voting on legalization measures, eight of which passed - Americans favored legalization at a level of 60 percent. Even larger majorities of independents (67 percent) and Democrats (72 percent) are in favor of legal marijuana. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked lawmakers to undo federal protections for medical marijuana, repeatedly calling it a "dangerous drug". "We do know that legalization results in greater use".

As Gallup notes in its analysis of the data, there are many similarities between the trend that we've seen in this polling and the polling on the issue of same-sex marriage that showed support for marriage equality increasing at a more rapid pace over a very short period of time. "This is a clear mandate for the legislature to enact sensible marijuana laws to help the state create a workable budget".

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 policy liberalization over the past 20 years has certainly been associated with increased marijuana use; however, policy changes appear to have occurred in response to changing attitudes within states and to have effects on attitudes and behaviors more generally in the U.S." the study stated.

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