Marijuana Support at an All Time High in the U.S
October 23, 2013 11:02 AM EDT
Even though the debate over whether or not marijuana is a safe drug to use continues endlessly, support for the legalization of marijuana is at an all time high in the United States. According to the most recent poll conducted by Gallup, 58 percent of Americans stated that they would support legalizing the drug.
Based on the previous polls from Gallup, support for marijuana has been a growing trend. In the first poll conducted in 1969, only 12 percent of Americans supported it. In the 1970s, support doubled to 28 percent. By the 1980s to the 1990s, the percentage of Americans for the legalization of marijuana stayed steady before it started to increase once again reaching 50 percent in 2011. In this 2013 poll, 1,028 adults were randomly selected to partake in the Gallup Daily Tracking survey, which was conducted via the telephone. The participants resided in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The recent surge in support could be largely due to the fact that several states have decided to legalize medicinal marijuana. Furthermore, even though marijuana possession is still considered illegal under federal law, the current administration has stated that it does not plan on challenging the laws set in these states. Pro-marijuana supporters believe that these recent numbers are proof that public opinion regarding this drug is shifting.
"The latest poll results point to the absurdity and even venality of persisting with harsh prohibitionist policies," Ethan Nadelmann from Drug Policy Alliance expressed according to the Washington Post.
The Gallup poll also outlined where the support was coming from. The numbers revealed that 65 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Independents support legalizing marijuana where as only 35 percent of Republicans do. When it came to age groups, the most support came from people between 18 and 29-years-old. Based on the most current numbers, support for the legalization of marijuana should continue to increase over the next few years as more marijuana-related laws will enter the ballot boxes of several states.
The poll can be accessed on Gallup's website.