Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to nationwide polling data released today by Gallup.
The percentage ties the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup, and is more than twice the level of support reported in the mid-1990s.
Younger Americans, Democrats and independents are the most likely to favor legalizing cannabis, while Republicans and Americans over the age of 65 are least likely to do so. Among those poll respondents age 18 to 34, 71 percent endorse legalization. Among respondents age 35 to 49 years of age, 64 percent support legalizing marijuana.
“Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is the highest Gallup has measured to date, at 58 percent,” pollsters concluded. “Given the patterns of support by age, that percentage should continue to grow in the future. Younger generations of Americans have been increasingly likely to favor legal use of marijuana as they entered adulthood compared with older generations of Americans when they were the same age decades ago. … Now senior citizens are alone among age groups in opposing pot legalization.
“These trends suggest that state and local governments may come under increasing pressure to ease restrictions on marijuana use, if not go even further like the states of Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in making recreational marijuana use completely legal.”
The 2015 Gallup poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
Commenting on the latest polling data, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Supporting the status quo — the notion that marijuana and those adults who consume it responsibly ought to be criminalized — is now a fringe position in America. These results ought to embolden campaigning politicians, as well as elected officials, to take a more pronounced stance in favor of legalizing and regulating cannabis in a manner that is consistent with the desires of the majority of their constituents.”
Super-majorities of voters believe that medical cannabis should be legal, and most men additionally support legalizing marijuana for all adults, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University Swing State poll.
Pollsters gauged support for marijuana law reform in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Florida voters backed legalizing cannabis therapy by a margin of 87 percent to 12 percent. A majority of male voters (57 percent) also supported broader legalization, while only 49 percent of women agreed.
Reform advocates are presently gathering signatures for a pair of potential ballot drives in 2016. The first, backed by United For Care, seeks to permit the physician-authorized use of cannabis. The second effort, sponsored by Regulate Florida and NORML of Florida, seeks to regulate the plant’s production, consumption, and sales to adults.
A 2014 amendment that sought to permit cannabis therapy garnered 58 percent of vote — two percent shy of the threshold necessary for passage in Florida.
Ninety percent of Ohio voters say that marijuana should be legal for medicinal purposes. Fifty-nine percent of male voters additionally backed legalizing the plant for social use versus only 47 percent of female voters.
Ohio voters will decide this November on a proposed ballot measure (Issue 3, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment) to regulate the state-licensed production and sale of cannabis for both medical and retail purposes. The measure also permits adults to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis (up to four plants yielding no more than 8 ounces of usable product at any one time) at home. State lawmakers opposed to the plan have placed a competing measure, Issue 2, on the November ballot that seeks to prohibit state regulators from permitting the limited production of “any Schedule I controlled substance.” If voters approved both measures, Issue 2 states that the “entire proposed constitutional [marijuana] amendment shall not take effect.”
In Pennsylvania, 90 percent of voters back medicalizing marijuana. Fifty-two percent of men also support legalization, versus 43 percent of women voters.
Senate lawmakers this year approved compromised medical marijuana legislation, but the measure remains stalled in the House. Separate senate legislation, Senate Bill 528, to permit the adult possession and retail sale of marijuana has not yet been heard by lawmakers.
Nearly six out of ten New Jersey adults favor legalizing the use and sale of marijuana, according to the results of a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released today.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that they support “legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over.” Thirty-nine percent of respondents oppose legalizing cannabis.
Support for legalization was highest among those age 18 to 34 (67 percent), Democrats (64 percent), and Independents (61 percent). Support was lowest among Republicans (41 percent) and those over the age of 65 (47 percent).
When respondents were asked if they supported regulating marijuana in the same manner as alcohol, support rose to sixty percent.
In a recent appearance on CBS’s program Face the Nation, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced that, if elected President, he would use the power of the federal government to prosecute marijuana-related activities in states that have legalized the plant.
Congress: House Members Re-Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Prevent Federal Prosecutions Of State-Compliant Marijuana Consumers, BusinessesApril 27, 2015
California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, along with five other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced legislation to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to marijuana.
HR 1094 states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.”
Representative Rohrabacher sponsored a budgetary amendment last year to limit federal interference in states with marijuana regulation schemes. (That provision expires this fall.) However, the Department of Justice has recently claimed that the law does not prevent the government sanctioning individuals or businesses in states where marijuana is legal.
“The American people … have made it clear that federal enforcers should stay out of their personal lives,” Rohrabacher said in a statement upon the bill’s reintroduction late last week. “It’s time for restraint of the federal government’s over-aggressive weed warriors.”
According to national survey data released today by Fox News, 51 percent of registered voters say that they favor “legalizing marijuana.” The figure is an increase of five percentage points since Fox pollsters asked the question in 2013. It is the first time that a majority of respondents have favored legalization in a Fox News sponsored poll. The poll is the latest in a series of national surveys showing majority support for legalizing and regulating marijuana
To learn more about HR 1940, or to contact your elected officials in support of this or other pending legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.
More than six out of ten Connecticut voters favor legalizing marijuana use by adults, according to statewide polling conducted by Quinnipiac University.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said that they favored permitting adults to legally possess personal use quantities of cannabis. Only 34 percent of voters opposed this idea.
Legislation, House Bill 6703, is presently pending in the state, “to allow marijuana use for persons twenty-one years of age and older, and to regulate the sale, possession, use and growth of marijuana.” Connecticut residents can contact their lawmakers in support of this measure here.
State voters, by an overwhelming 82 percent to 15 percent margin, also support eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for offenses involving the possession of small amounts of illegal drugs, and allowing judges to decide sentences on a case by case basis.
The Quinnipiac University poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.