Support for legalizing cannabis remains at a record high of 68% in the United States, according to a Gallup poll released in November, with solid majorities of adults in all major subgroups by gender, age, income and education supporting legalization.
It is the second straight year Gallup has measured support for legalization at 68%.
“There is no buyer’s remorse on the part of the American people,” NORML executive director Erik Altieri said in a press release. “In the era of state-level legalization, voters’ support for this issue has grown rapidly — an indication that these policy changes have been successful and are comporting with voters’ desires and expectations. Today, voters of every age and in virtually every region of the country agree that marijuana should be legal. We have a mandate from the American people, and we intend to make sure that elected officials abide by it.”
But despite widespread approval, significant differences still exist when broken out by political party and religion. For example, 83% of Democrats support legalization compared to only 50% of Republicans, with independents splitting the difference at 71%.
When broken out by religious service attendance, 52% of those who attend weekly or nearly weekly support legalization, compared to 78% of those who attend less often.
Gallup has been tracking support for legalization since 1969, when a record low of just 12% of the American population supported it. Support for legalization never topped 30% during the 20th century, but as more states created medical and then recreational markets, support has only increased, reaching a majority for the first time in 2013. In 2020, support reached a high of 68% when marijuana was largely deemed an “essential industry” during the COVID pandemic and voters in four states approved ballot measures to legalize.
— Brian Beckley