Get ready for a nationwide Green Rush. A new report from the polling institution Gallup suggests that more U.S. residents support the idea of marijuana legalization than ever before.
In a recent survey of over 1,000 American adults from all 50 states, Gallup representatives found that 64% of all respondents think that marijuana use should be made legal, the highest such result in the 48 years since Gallup began asking about cannabis legalization in 1969.
When the company first started polling pot in ‘69, only 12% of the population was on board for ending prohibition, with that number more than doubling in the 1970s, before losing steam throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. It wasn’t until the turn of the millennium that support for legalization surpassed the 30% threshold, but with medical and recreational legislation spreading like wildfire in the past decade, more Americans have shed old stigmas and accepted legal weed not only as the way of the future, but as a product for the present.
As the benefits of legalization in places like Colorado, Washington, and California become more visible to the rest of the country, even Republicans are getting on the green train, hinting that cannabis reform might have finally shed its once partisan political separations.
Up from 42% last year, 51% of Republican respondents responded positively to the idea of legal weed, the first time Gallup has found majority support for marijuana from the right side of the aisle.
So while Jeff Sessions and his D.C. cronies continue to suggest that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” it certainly appears that the rest of the country feels otherwise.
Researchers at Gallup say they’ve seen a correlation between support for cannabis legalization and marriage equality, a long-fought struggle that ended with a change to federal law in 2015.
With nationwide support for both causes currently hovering near the 65th percentile, hopefully popular pressure can push cannabis down a similar path to federal legalization in coming years.