Seven-in-ten American voters believe that “the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States,” according to polling data released by Quinnipiac University. That percentage is the highest level of support ever reported in a scientific poll.
Sixty-nine percent of polled respondents expressed support for legalizing cannabis. That percentage rises to 70% when only registered voters are included. That is an increase of 19 percentage points since 2012, which is when Quinnipiac University first began polling on the issue.
“There is no buyer’s remorse on the part of the American people,” NORML stated. “In the era of state-level legalization, voters’ support for this issue has grown rapidly — an indication that these policy changes have been successful and are comporting with voters’ desires and expectations. Today, voters of every age and in virtually every region of the country agree that marijuana should be legal. We have a mandate from the American people and we intend to make sure that elected officials abide by it.”
Support for cannabis legalization among the public is non-partisan. Strong majorities of Republicans (62%), Independents (67%), and Democrats (78%) back legalization. By contrast, elected officials continue to view the issue through a largely partisan lens, with Democrats primarily supporting the issue and Republicans typically voting against it. Measures legalizing adult-use marijuana markets recently occurred in Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia.
The Quinnipiac University poll also found that Americans of all ages support legalization. Among those ages 65 and older, 51% endorse legalization. This percentage of support is significantly higher among younger and middle-age voters, with 78% of those between the ages of 18 and 49 backing legalization and 72% of those ages 50 to 64 doing so.
Other polls similarly show majority support among Americans of all ages and political ideologies.