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Record High Percentage Of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization, Says New Poll
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Record High Percentage Of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization, Says New Poll

Iris Dorbian, Forbes Contributor

Less than a week after the legal cannabis industry scored a big win with five states passing adult-use and medical legalization measures on their respective ballots, and a new Gallup poll is reporting that 68 percent of Americans feel that marijuana should be legal. Not only is this the highest percentage of support ever recorded in a national Gallup poll, it means that nearly seven in ten Americans are in favor of legalization.

It’s also an issue that seems to transcend age demographics. According to the poll, 55 percent of adults ages 65 and older support adult-use legalization.

However, there is still somewhat of a partisan divide. Only 48 percent of respondents who identify themselves as Republicans support legalization, a drop from recent years. That figure is in marked contrast to the poll’s findings that report that 83 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of Independents support legalization.

In a public statement, Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit focused on marijuana legalization, feels the Gallup findings are consistent with Americans’ sentiments in both the polls and at the ballot box. “The overwhelming majority of Americans favor ending the failed policies of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a policy of legalization, regulation, taxation, and public education,” he said. “Elected officials — at both the state and federal level — ought to be listening.”

On November 3rd, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota voted to legalize adult-use marijuana while Mississippi approved legalizing medical cannabis. With the election results, 15 states, plus D.C., now have adult-use markets while 36 states (and D.C.) have medical marijuana access laws.

“There is no buyer’s remorse on the part of the American people,” added Altieri. “Today, voters of every age and in virtually every region of the country agree that marijuana should be legal. We have a mandate from the American people, and we intend to make sure that elected officials abide by it.”

Interestingly, in 1969, when Gallup first conducted a poll on legalization, only 12 percent of Americans favored it. That percentage doubled in 1996 when California became the first state in the U.S. to legalize medical cannabis. At the time, 25 percent of Americans said marijuana should be legal for those ages 21 and older. Since 2012, when Colorado and Washington were the only two states to legalize adult-use, public support for legalization has gained 20 percentage points. Since 2013, a majority of Americans support legalization.

Iris Dorbian, Forbes Contributor

Date Posted: 2020-11-09 20:41:04

Original News link here by www.forbes.com

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