Americans’ support for legalizing cannabis remains at 66 percent, according to a Gallup poll. The polling firm found the same level of support last year – it’s the highest support for the broad reforms since Gallup began asking the question in 1969 when just 12 percent of respondents supported legalization.
The poll found the majority of members all political parties support the reforms, although there is a wide gap between Democrats (76 percent) and Republicans (51 percent). Sixty-eight percent of Independents said they supported nationwide legalization. However, 82 percent of those who identified as liberal backed legalization compared to a minority (48 percent) of self-described conservatives.
Support was strongest among adults under age 30 (81 percent) and Millennials (80 percent) followed by Generation X (63 percent) and Baby Boomers (61 percent). Individuals born in 1945 or before were largely no in favor, with just 40 percent support, while 49 percent of senior citizens said they supported legalization.
The majority of all ethnic group members polled supported the reforms, including 74 percent of African-Americans, 66 percent of whites, and 57 percent of Hispanics.
Among individuals that attend religious services on a weekly basis, just 42 percent said they favored legalization, compared to 77 percent of those who never attend religious services, and 63 percent of those who attend occasionally.
In 1977, Gallup found 28 percent backed legalization but support dropped to 23 percent in 1986 before rising to 25 percent in 1995. The pollsters then found fairly consistent support into the 2000s. In 2001, 31 percent said they backed the reforms, and support jumped to 36 percent by 2006. In 2010, 44 percent of respondents indicated they supported legalizing cannabis, and the needle pushed to 50 percent in 2012, before dropped to about 45 percent the following year, rising again to 58 percent in 2013, dropping again to about 45 percent two years later before spiking to 58 percent in 2016.