For first time, majority supports legalizing marijuana
For the first time, a clear majority of Americans say they favor legalizing marijuana, as recreational and medical use of the drug gains acceptance across the nation, a poll released on Tuesday showed.
The Gallup poll found that 58 percent of those surveyed favored marijuana legalization, up from 50 percent two years ago. By contrast, when Gallup first asked the question in 1969, only 12 percent favored allowing the drug.
Washington state and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational adult use by approving separate ballot measures in November 2012. Twenty states and the District of Columbia allow pot to be used for medical purposes.
The poll, which drew on a random sample of 1,028 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, found support for legalization was strongest among 18- to 29-year-old adults, 67 percent of whom were in favor.
Backing for legalization among Americans aged 30 to 49 years remained high at 62 percent. The only age group clearly against legalization were those age 65 and older — 53 percent were opposed.
The study said the shift could be attributed to changing social mores and growing social acceptance of marijuana. The increasing use of medical marijuana as a socially acceptable way to alleviate symptoms of diseases and mitigate side effects of chemotherapy may have also contributed to acceptance.
“Whatever the reasons for Americans' greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States,” the study said.
The study found that support for legalization was driven by independents, 62 percent of whom now favor legalization, compared with 50 percent in November 2012. Backing was higher among Democrats, at 65 percent, compared with 35 percent for Republicans.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- GAO: Waste of natural gas costing taxpayers millions
- Oil train derailment prompts evacuation in North Dakota town
- State AGs lambaste climate proposal, predicting higher electricity prices, job losses
- Researchers find new, elusive bird species
- Federal appeals court flips on cell location records ruling in Florida
- Texas attack called ‘textbook’ lone-wolf case
- AG vows to help better Baltimore police
- 56 years later, Ohio fugitive captured in Florida
- Bullying bad for children’s mental health, study hints
- Trucking interests trump safety in $55.3B transportation spending bill
- 10-year hurricane drought in U.S. called dumb luck