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58% of Americans Believe Cannabis Should be Legal

October 23, 2015

A Gallup poll released on Wednesday showed that 58% of Americans believe cannabis should be legal in the United States, a tie for the highest percentage in the 46 years Gallup has been following the trend.

Support for cannabis has grown steadily over the last 40 years, but has bubbled between 44% and 58% over the last six years. Wednesday’s number tied the previous high percentage for Americans supporting cannabis legalization in 2013.

Gallop cannabis legalization poll as of October 21, 2015

The poll showed that support has grown significantly since 2000/2001 across all age groups, but particularly among younger Americans. Political party identification also plays a big part in the numbers: young Democrats and Independents are most like to support legalization of cannabis, whereas Republicans and older Americans are least likely.

Cannabis support growth among other age groups is also startling. In 1969, only 4% of Americans over the age of 65 supported cannabis legalization. In 2015, that number has risen to 35%.

The trends suggest that state governments will come under increasing pressure to legalize cannabis during the 2016 election cycle.