Who would have thought just ten years ago that Marijuana would be a clear choice for Americans supporting legalization as recreational and medical purposes? For the first time, the majority of Americans are saying they favor legalizing marijuana as a recreational and medical usage across the country.
A 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 medication.
Washington State and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational adult use by approving separate ballot measures in November 2012. Some 20 states, and the District of Columbia allow marijuana to be used for medical reasons.
The poll drew a random sample of 1,028 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The biggest support for Marijuana legalization was strongest among adults 18 to 29-years old, 67 percent supported legalization.
Americans age 30 to 49 years old supporting legalization remained high at 62 percent. The only age group clearly against legalization were those age 65 and over, where 53 percent were opposed. The study that was conducted indicated the shift could be attributed to change in social principles and more social acceptance of marijuana.
“Whatever the reasons for Americans’ greater acceptance of marijuana, it is most likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States,” the study said.
The study found that a 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.
Advocates of legalizing marijuana say taxing and regulating the drug could be financially beneficial to states and municipalities, but opponents, including some law enforcement and substance abuse professionals, cited health risks including increased heart rate and respiratory and memory problems.
The poll, based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 3-6, 2013, had a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. (Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Steve Orlofsky)
Until next time be true to yourself and others.