Gallup: Support for Marijuana Legalization Surges to New Highs

Article by Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post

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A new Gallup poll released Wednesday shows 60 percent of American adults now say that marijuana should be legal, the highest level of support in nearly a half-century of polling on the question.

The Gallup poll tracks closely with numbers from the Pew Research Centerreleased last week showing 57 percent support for legalization.

When Gallup first asked about legalization in 1969 only 12 percent of Americans supported the proposition. Support rose briefly to 28 percent in the late ’70s, but languished in the low- to mid-20s throughout much of the ’80s and ’90s, as the federal war on drugs hit a fever pitch.

As Gallup notes, support for legalization has soared in the past decade among nearly every demographic group. Close to 80 percent of 18-to-34 year olds now favor legal weed, up from 44 percent in 2003 and 2005. Gallup finds that Americans age 55 and older are now the only age group with less than majority support for legalization.

Support for legalization has more than doubled among Republicans in the past decade, to 42 percent today. With 70 percent support, independents are the political group most likely to favor legalization, just edging out Democrats at 67 percent.

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