A new survey from Gallup finds that support for ending marijuana prohibition continues to grow nationally, with 60 percent of Americans now on board. The number is up from 58 percent last year, and 50 percent in 2011.
The news comes as voters in five states begin to vote on ballot initiatives to regulate and tax cannabis for adult use. Early voting began this week in Massachusetts and Nevada, and it began last week in Arizona, California and Maine.
The new survey result is a record high in the firm’s 47-year history of asking about cannabis, and it follows a separate Pew poll earlier this month which found 57 percent of Americans supporting legalization, up from 53 percent in the same poll last year.“The topline number obviously bodes well for the marijuana measures on state ballots next month,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority. “But what gives me even more hope are the demographic breakdowns showing just how strongly young people support ending prohibition.
“It’s more clear than ever that legalization is the future,” Angell said. “More politicians — presidential candidates included — would do themselves a big favor to take note of the clear trend and then vocally support legislation catering to the growing majority of Americans who support modernizing failed marijuana policies.”“Three out of five Americans are ready to end prohibition and adopt a more sensible marijuana policy,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Support for making marijuana legal increased among all age groups, from college freshmen to senior citizens.
“Marijuana is significantly less harmful than alcohol for society,” Tvert said. “It should come as little surprise that a growing majority of our society wants it to be treated that way.
“Over the past four years, this increase in public support nationwide has manifested itself in major state-level policy changes,” Tvert said. “Four states and our nation’s capital have voted to make marijuana legal for adults, and five more could do the same in just a few weeks.
“In several states where ballot measures aren’t an option, legislatures are taking a closer look at this issue than ever before,” Tvert said. “When it comes to ending marijuana prohibition, the writing is not just on the wall, but also on state ballots and bills throughout the country.”