Marijuana legalization in the United States is closer than ever to being a reality: 60% of Americans now support it.
That’s according to the latest Gallup Poll data, which asked over 1,000 respondents, “Should marijuana use be made legal, or not?” The data shows increases in support for marijuana legalization across the board — across age, race, gender, and political demographics. And it’s a huge overall increase: from 35% of adults in favour of legalization in 2005, to 60% in 2016.
Pew Research conducted a similar poll earlier in 2016, which came to similar results: 57% of Americans over 18 favour outright marijuana legalization.
Over half of the US has already legalised some form of marijuana use — recreation, medicinal, or both. Colorado and Washington have legalised the use and sale of marijuana for recreational use; both states are regulating the production, sales, and consumption of marijuana along the same lines as alcohol.
And on November 8, marijuana legalization is on the ballot in nine states. In five of those states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada — voters are choosing whether or not to legalise marijuana in the same way Colorado and Washington already have. It’s looking likely that the initiatives will pass in at least three, if not four, of the five states.
Though neither presidential candidate supports legalization, the political lines are clear: Self-identifying Democrats and Independents are around 70% in favour, while Republicans are still against. Just 42% of respondents who identify as Republican are in favour of marijuana legalization.