Two-thirds of Americans support legalizing marijuana in the United States, a record-high since Gallup started asking the question in 1969, according to a newly-released poll. Sixty-six percent of people in the country believe that pot should be made legal, marking a third consecutive year that support has grown.
Gallup conducted a poll from October 1 through 10 to determine how American voters felt about legalizing marijuana. Currently, cannabis is legal in nine states recreationally and medical use is legal in 30 states. This year, four states are voting on measures to allow recreational or medicinal use.
Gallup began asking about the legalization of marijuana in 1969, and at that time, just 12 percent of people polled supported making it legal. Support has steadily grown, peaking in the late 1970s and then stagnating until the late 1990s. By the early 2010s, a small majority supported legalizing cannabis.
“Since 2000, support for legalizing marijuana has trended steeply upward, reaching majority support for the first time in 2013 — a year after Colorado and Washington voters legalized recreational use of marijuana via ballot initiatives, making them the first states to do so,” the report said.
Last year, for the first time, a slim majority of Republican voters supported legalizing marijuana. This year, the number climbed slightly to 53 percent among Republicans.
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) October 22, 2018
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to crack down on marijuana use, which remains illegal at the federal level. The attorney general has rolled back Obama-era policy that lessened federal prosecution on states that have legalized the use of marijuana.
According to federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which makes it more dangerous than cocaine, methamphetamines, or fentanyl in the eyes of the government. There are no recorded examples of an individual dying from a marijuana overdose.
“Support for legalization in the U.S. has continued to grow, even as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pledged to crack down on marijuana at the federal level. But Sessions’ own department has done little to actually carry out his demonstrated opposition to legal marijuana, and states have continued to legalize it since Sessions took on his role,” the report stated.
At the same time, President Donald Trump has claimed that he would support a bill to allow states to set and enforce their own policies around marijuana use.
The poll was completed before Canada made the substance legal last week, resulting in country-wide shortages and long lines of people forming to buy cannabis, per the Inquisitr.