Vast Majority of Americans Want Legalization of Cannabis

A new poll of 1,000 people found that 68% of Americans support legalization.

With our neighbors to the north fully legalizing cannabis and making history, Americans of all political persuasions say they too want cannabis prohibition to end.

A new poll that surveyed 1,000 registered voters, found that sixty-eight percent of Americans not only support legalization but also support the idea of sealing the criminal records of nonviolent offenders who serve their sentences.

Undertaken by think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) and research firm GBA Strategies, the survey was released on Wednesday June 20.

“This finding of widespread, bipartisan national support for marijuana legalization is important as Congress begins to take initial steps in this arena,” said Ed Chung, vice president of Criminal Justice Reform at CAP.

“There is clear overwhelming public support for marijuana legalization, and cities and states across the country are taking action. It is time for a national effort to catch up with legislation to liberalize outdated marijuana policies.”

Here is a breakdown showing the broad demographics of Americans who want cannabis legalized:

  • 57 percent of Republicans
  • 77 percent of Democrats
  • 62 percent of independents
  • 66 percent of men
  • 69 percent of women
  • 69 percent of whites
  • 72 percent of African Americans
  • 64 percent of Latinos

These results reflect the highest numbers yet for legalization. Polls from last year found that between 63 and 64 percent of Americans supported legalization. These CAP numbers show the highest support yet.

While the rise in support for legalization has been consistent over the past five years, NORML’s executive director Erik Altieri pointed out that the bipartisan nature of the CAP survey is significant.

“In an era of increasing partisanship, public support for ending cannabis criminalization is an issue that crosses party lines,” Altieri said in a statement.

“More and more, elected officials—and those who wish to be elected—must acknowledge that advocating in favor of marijuana policy reform is a political opportunity, not a political liability.”

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