Support for Legalization Hits a New High — Again

Support for Legalization Hits a New High — Again

Earlier this year, we told you that public support for legal weed had not reached its peak. And we were right.

According to a new poll released by Gallup, public support for marijuana legalization has reached yet another high.

The poll, released in October, shows that 66% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. This marks the third year in a row that public support has hit a new record.

Public support for legalization was a mere 12% in 1969, and has grown significantly during this decade. While support among 18- to 34-year-olds has now reached 78%, it’s not just younger adults who want to see marijuana legalized.

Last year, 50% of respondents age 55 and older thought pot should be legalized. This year, that number shot up to 59%. This age group has seen the biggest increase in support in the last few years.

Influence on lawmakers?

Public support has increased rapidly in the last few years. At the same time, many states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. This is likely not a coincidence. If there’s no public support, a state likely won’t legalize weed. But a large group of supporters could be enough to sway lawmakers to propose a ballot.

As long as the public continues to show their support, it’s likely that more and more states will legalize weed — even in parts of the country that have been more resistant to legalization than others.

In 2009-2010, for example, public support was lower in the South and Midwest than in the East and West. In the Midwest, only 40% said that marijuana should be made legal. In the South, the number was only one percentage point higher.

In 2017-2018, support has become way more consistent nationwide, with 65% in favor in the Midwest, South, and West, and 67% supporting legalization in the East.

This increase could continue the streak of good news for the industry, leading lawmakers in the Midwest and South to rethink their stance on legalization — as well as efforts by cannabis companies to push their expansion efforts towards other parts of the U.S.

Stay tuned to the Sugar Leaf for updates.