American Support for Marijuana Legalization Keeps Climbing

Support for legal pot is growing like a weed.

A vendor weighs buds for card-carrying medical marijuana patients attending Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmer's market at the West Coast Collective medical marijuana dispensary, on the fourth of July, or Independence Day, in Los Angeles, California on July 4, 2014 where organizer's of the 3-day event plan to showcase high quality cannabis from growers and vendors throughout the state.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

In the past few years, American support for legalizing marijuana has jumped, well, pretty high. According to CNN’s early exit polling, 49% of Americans support legalizing marijuana in their state, whereas 47% oppose the measure.

Last fall, Gallup reported a surge in support for marijuana legalization, a boost of ten percentage points between Oct. 2012 and Oct. 2013. Compare this with the first year Gallup asked the question: in 1969—the year of Woodstock, turning on and dropping out—just 12% of the country favored legalizing weed.

Support for legalization has concentrated among young adults and liberal voters, although older Americans, who may stand to benefit more from medical marijuana for comfort and treatment, may be coming around. This cycle, one conservative superpac, aiming to move the presumably Democratic stoner vote to Libertarians, possibly to benefit Republicans, invested in marijuana-friendly advertising. But just twelve percent of midterm voters nationwide were under thirty—the same as has been true over the past two midterm elections.

Marijuana reform was on the ballot in Washington, D.C., Oregon, Alaska, and Florida, and the numbers look positive. Today's poll results may help legalization gain momentum for 2016.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
LEARN MORE