Gallup: More Americans Than Ever Say Marijuana Should Be Legal

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A record 70 percent of US adults believe that “the use of marijuana should be legal,” according to nationwide polling data released today by Gallup. That’s an increase of 19 percentage points since 2014, when Colorado and Washington became the first states to implement adult-use cannabis legalization, and the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup pollsters.

“There’s no ‘buyers remorse’ among the public when it comes to legalizing cannabis,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “As more states have adopted legalization, public support for this policy has risen dramatically. That’s because these policies are largely working as intended and because voters prefer legalization and regulation over the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”


Pollsters reported that Americans back legalization regardless of age and political party affiliation. “Majority support for legalization is found among all major subgroups, including by age, political party and ideology,” they determined. “Support for legal marijuana use is highest among self-identified liberals (91 percent) and Democrats (87 percent) and lowest among conservatives (52 percent) and Republicans (55 percent). Support is inversely correlated with age, reaching 79 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds. However, even among the oldest age group, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) are in favor.”

In 1969, when Gallup first posed the legalization question, only 12 percent of Americans expressed support for legalizing marijuana.

“Public support for legalizing and regulating cannabis is mainstream and bipartisan,” Armentano said. “At a time when many political issues remain acutely polarized, legalizing marijuana remains is one of the few policy reforms that a majority of voters on the right and on the left agree upon. It borders on political malpractice for elected officials, and for Republican lawmakers especially, to sit on the sidelines at a time when more Americans than ever are demanding action.”

Complete polling results are available from Gallup. Archived surveys and polls are available from NORML.

NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of marijuana by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use marijuana responsibly no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for marijuana-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.

Find out more at and read the NORML Fact Sheets on the most common misconceptions and myths regarding cannabis and cannabis policies.

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