by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 14, 2019
More than two out of three US adults believe that the personal use of cannabis should be legal, according to nationwide polling data compiled and released today by the Pew Research Center.
Sixty-seven percent of respondents say that the “use of marijuana should be made legal.” That is the highest percentage of support ever recorded by Pew, which has been surveying Americans’ attitudes on marijuana policy since 1969. Public support for legalization has more than doubled in the past decade.
The Pew survey is the fourth national poll released in recent weeks showing majority support for cannabis legalization. Recently compiled polling data by Gallup and the Public Religion Research Institute both reported that two-thirds of Americans endorse legalization, while survey data compiled by Harvard reported that 62 percent of US adults back the policy change.
Consistent with other national surveys, support for adult-use legalization was strongest among self-identified Democrats (78 percent) and Millennials (76 percent), but was weaker among Republicans (55 percent) and those born before 1945 (35 percent).
According to Pew, in 1989 only 16 percent of US adults believed that cannabis should be legalized.
“The percentage of the public who favors adult-use marijuana legalization has skyrocketed over the past three decades and shows no signs of abating,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “As more and more states have moved forward with their own marijuana liberalization policies in recent years, public support has only grown stronger. At a time when the political divides is larger than ever, the issue of marijuana legalization is one of the few policy issues upon which most Americans agree.”