Sixty-two percent of Americans say the use of marijuana should be legalized, says a new Pew Research Center survey released today. Results of the telephone survey of 1,754 adults nationwide is in line with most surveys conducted over the past 30 years, which show a steady rise in support. As of this writing, nearly three fifths of U.S. States have enacted some form of legalization or decriminalization, though marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug according to the increasingly out-of-touch federal government.
Today’s 62 percent is double the number who said they were in favor of legalization in a poll conducted in 2000. However, the tide turned in about the year 2010, and every year since, more Americans than not have been in favor of some form of legalization or decriminalization.
Support for marijuana legalization is not universal, however. It still breaks down along gender and party lines. Here are some examples:
- The Pew survey revealed that men are significantly more supportive of legalization (68 percent) than women (56 percent).
- Support for legalization is highest among Democrats at 69 percent. Among Independents, the tally is 68 percent, while only 45 percent of Republicans agree.
- Approval of marijuana legalization is also related to generational attitudes. Only 39 percent of those born between 1928 and 1945, also known as The Silent Generation, are supportive the move to decriminalize. That sentiment is shared by 74 percent of Millennials (born from 1981 through 1997), 63 percent of Gen X respondents (1965-1980), and 54 percent of Baby Boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964.