TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

For first time, majority supports legalizing marijuana

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Reuters
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, 8:36 p.m.
 

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Two killed when F-16, small plane crash; jet pilot safe
  2. Subway suspends ties with spokesman Fogle after raid at home
  3. Feds could be softening in Snowden case
  4. Cosby accusers feel vindicated by drugging admission; some Hollywood friends reserve judgment
  5. 2 killed in midair collision over South Carolina when fighter jet slams into Cessna
  6. Appeals court upholds ban on federal contractors’ donations
  7. At least 5 kids got wrong immunizations at New Jersey clinic
  8. Senators quiz military chiefs, criticize U.S. fight against Islamic State
  9. Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers in 2 years
  10. ‘Billionaires’ Beach’ in Calif. opens to the public
  11. Corzine, other former MF Global Holdings officials OK $64M settlement of litigation over bankruptcy