Fifty-eight percent of Americans say the drug should be legal, according to Gallup’s latest survey, compared with 39 percent who oppose legalization. The other 3 percent had no opinion.
When Gallup first asked about pot in 1969, only 12 percent favored marijuana legalization. That weed-backing minority grew to 28 percent by 1977 and then stagnated for two decades before starting to steadily pick up more supporters around the year 2000. [Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens]
As far as Gallup’s surveys go, public support for pot legalization hit a previous record high of 50 percent in 2011. Last year, 48 percent of Americans told the polling organization that they supported legalization.
Self-described Independents have driven the most recent changes in public opinion, with 62 percent now in favor of pot legalization, up from 50 percent in November last year. Democrats and Republicans remain divided on the issue; 65 percent of Democrats favor making marijuana legal, while just 35 percent of Republicans said the same.
Younger Americans, ages 18 to 29, are more likely to support legalizing pot than any other age group, with 67 percent in favor. Americans 65 and older are the only age group with a majority (53 percent) opposing pot legalization