Poll Finds Support of Legal Weed at an All-time High


Marijuana plants

According to Forbes, around two out of three Americans say they support legalizing marijuana.

For the first time this year, a majority of Republicans said they support legalized marijuana - 51 percent - which is up 9 points from last year. Although more Democrats favored legalization - up to 72 percent from 67 percent - support fell among Independents to 67 percent from 70 percent. In 2001, it grew to 34 percent - and since 2013, a majority of Americans have backed the idea. They have been putting out the same poll since 1969 when only 12% of Americans backed legalization.

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

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"It makes sense that support for ending marijuana prohibition is increasing", said Morgan Fox, the director of communications for Marijuana Policy Project, the nation's largest organization devoted to reforming cannabis laws.

GallupRising support for legalizing marijuana seems to be a function of growing familiarity with it, which is in turn correlated with age.

Already, marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC. "Rank-and-file Republicans' views on the issue have evolved just as Democrats' and independents' have". The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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But greater support for legalization could complicate any administration efforts to crack down on pot.

Legal marijuana now has equal support to gay marriage among Americans, Gallup notes. That's the most support that Gallup has picked up in 48 years of polling on this question. 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.

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.

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

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