Pro-cannabis advocates have reason to celebrate. Support for marijuana legalization among Americans is at an all-time high, a new survey says, with many states now leaning towards making medical marijuana publicly accessible.
To date, 25 states have legalized medical marijuana. Four have long authorized recreational marijuana, and five more states have it on the ballot for the upcoming elections. According to polls, pot users can prepare to light up those joints, because “yes” is likely to win in all those states, The Atlantic reports.
In a survey conducted among 1,201 American adults from late August to early September this year, the Pew Research Center found that 57% of citizens are in favor of marijuana legalization.
The same poll says 37% believe the drug should remain illegal, while 5% were undecided. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.2%, according to The Cannabist.
Public opinion has been gradually shifting in favor of cannabis, but has only picked up steam in the past ten years, Pew finds. Some 18 months ago, 53% of adults supported marijuana legalization, compared to 36% a decade ago. In 1969, only 12% of Americans agreed that cannabis should be legal, according to data from Gallup.
The majority of support now comes from the younger generations, Pew says. The approval from Millennials has grown from 34% in 2006 to an overwhelming 71% this year. In comparison, 57% of those in Generation X (ages 36 to 51), and 56% of Baby Boomers (ages 52 to 70) favored making pot legal. The Silent Generation (ages 71 to 88) were the most disapproving, with only 33% saying yes.
When it comes to political divides, Pew says Democrats favor marijuana legalization by a wide margin at 66%, while only 41% of Republicans agree. And Republicans don’t seem to agree among themselves, as well. Moderate and liberal Republicans favor legalization by 63%, while only 33% of conservative Republicans say the same. Among Democrats, the difference is narrower, with 78% of liberal Democrats, and 55% of conservative and moderate Democrats voicing support for legalization.