According to a recent Gallup survey, most Americans favor making cannabis legal, with seven in ten supporting its legalization. Over 68 percent of those who participated in the poll said they welcome the legalization of adult-use marijuana, a slight increase from last year where the same survey found 66 percent in favor of legalizing cannabis.
Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana has grown significantly over the years since 1969, where only 12 percent backed legalization. Currently, the level of support has doubled since 2000.
The new study indicated that the majority of Americans pushing for policy change are from different age groups. However, support from Republicans has had a slight decrease to 48 percent compared to last year when it stood at 58 percent.
Overall, Democrats recorded the highest number of supporters, with 83 percent backing cannabis legalization, followed by 72 percent of independents. The survey firm said that is the highest level of support it has ever recorded.
The poll results were released after five states approved new measures to legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational use. These included Montana and North Dakota, the two states previously known for being traditionally conservative.
While the policy change has received overwhelming support from Democrats, president-elect Joe Biden’s support has only focused on modest reforms such as expanding previous cannabis convictions and decriminalizing cannabis possession.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear as to why support among Republicans has diminished after years of increased backing. However, Democratic lawmakers have consistently advocated for the policy, attempting to identify themselves with it, something that might explain why not many conservatives are willing to openly rally behind the policy.
According to Gallup, states have made gradual attempts to legalize marijuana since it was first ratified by Colorado and Washington in 2012. Since then, Americans’ support for legalizing cannabis has grown 20 percentage points to a steady 68 percent.