Legalizing Marijuana Has Strong Support From Republicans For The First Time Ever

The Globe and Mail

The number is the highest level of support in almost half a century of surveying adults on the issue, according to Gallup.

Cannabis legalization support continues to rise in the United States, as a new Gallup poll finds that 64% of adults believe that cannabis prohibition should end.

Democrats and independents have historically been much more likely than Republicans to say marijuana should be legalized. Polling over the past several years has shown an increase in the number of Americans supporting full legalization of marijuana, with even broader majorities supporting things such as legalization for purely medicinal purposes and decriminalization and other reforms to the laws regulating possession of cannabis to the point where most recreational possession is treated more like a traffic ticket than a criminal offense. It also represents a more-than-fivefold increase over the 12 percent of Americans who said they supported legalization the first time Gallup asked, in 1969.

"It makes sense that support for ending marijuana prohibition is increasing", Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement. A majority of Americans have supported legalization since 2013. Gallup attributes the growing consensus to "efforts to legalize marijuana at the state level" and the success that followed. Eight states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized marijuana, meaning more than one in five Americans now live in a state where the drug is legal. In 2010 Democrats were nearly twice as likely as Republicans to favor legalization. The margin of error is 4 percentage points. "We urge the Department of Justice in particular to continue its policy of not interfering in states with well-regulated adult-use and medical marijuana programs while lawmakers catch up to the will of the people". "On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64% favor each", Gallup writes in its analysis of the poll.

Over half the US has legalized some form of marijuana use. Sessions has repeatedly criticized marijuana legalization, according to Forbes. "This is a clear mandate for the legislature to enact sensible marijuana laws to help the state create a workable budget".

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