Poll: Cannabis Legalization Support Tracks the Paths of Gay and Interracial Marriage

    According to a new Gallup poll conducted at the beginning of October, more Americans than ever—66 percent—support cannabis legalization. The poll was conducted just before Canada became, on October 16, the second country in the world to legalize for recreational use.

    Gallup compared US support for cannabis legalization to “support for gay marriage—and in prior years, interracial marriage” in that it “has generally only expanded, even if slowly, over the course of multiple decades—raising the question of where the ceiling in support might be.”

    In spite of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ opposition to legalization, Gallup found last year that, for the first time, a (slim) majority of Republicans supported it. This year’s figure—53 percent—shows continuing slow growth in Republican support.

    Line graph of 2000 through 2018. Support by party -- 53% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats support legalizing marijuana.

    Views that cannabis should be legalized have also reached their highest-ever levels among Democrats (75 percent) and independents (71 percent). Democrats reached majority-level support for legalization in 2009, and independents did so in 2010.

    Photos via Gallup.

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