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New Poll Shows 9 Out Of 10 Americans Support Legal Pot

The results of a poll conducted Tuesday show that nearly 9 out 10 Americans agree that marijuana should legally be available in any form. However, the majority believe it should only be legalized as recreational cannabis for adults. Pew Research Center conducted the poll last month and it was posted online by them on November 22, after they had completed the questionnaire in October’s first half.

This poll was essentially identical to a similar one conducted in April 2021. It revealed that 88% Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. A majority (59%) believed medical and adult-use marijuana should be legal. Nearly one third (30%) thought cannabis should only be legal for medicinal purposes. One in ten respondents believed that all forms of marijuana should be legal.

The Age Limits on Legalization Support

Support for recreational marijuana legalization was sharply divided by the age of the poll’s respondents, with only 30% of those 75 and older believing that all forms of cannabis should be legalized. However, 72% said both medical and recreational cannabis should be legalized for those aged 18-29 years. 62% said the opposite. 54 percent of those aged 50-64 agreed that both medical and recreational marijuana should be legalized, while 53% said the same for 65-74 year olds.

According to respondents’ political affiliations, the new poll found that there was a wide range of levels of support for marijuana law reform. Nearly three-quarters (73%) Democrats and Democratic leaning independents believe that marijuana should legalize for medical and recreational purposes. 21% of respondents said only medical marijuana should legalize. Liberal Democrats held 84% support for legalizing both types of cannabis, while almost two-thirds of conservative and moderate Democrats agreed.

However, less that half of Republicans (45%), and independent voters leaning Republican, said medical marijuana and adult use cannabis should both be legal. An additional 39% stated only that medical marijuana should legalize. 60% of moderate and liberal Republicans favored legalizing both recreational and medical cannabis. However, less than 40% of conservative Republicans (37%) argued that only one form of marijuana should be allowed. 

Survey Taken after Presidential Pardons Announced

After President Joe Biden’s October 6 announcement that he would forgive all federal marijuana possession convictions, the new poll was taken. He also encouraged other state governors to follow his lead. The president also directed the U.S. Attorney General and the Head of the Department of Health and Human Services, to investigate the possibility of cannabis being rescheduled under federal drug laws. 

Three weeks later, five states had voted on measures that would legalize recreational marijuana. Maryland and Missouri won legalization, while Arkansas and North Dakota rejected them.

Pew Research Center’s new poll was also conducted from October 10-16. It found that different groups of people support legalizing marijuana. An overwhelming majority (60%) of Black adults and 68 percent of Whites supported ending prohibition on medical marijuana as well. However, less than half (49%) of Asian and Hispanic respondents supported full legalization.
The survey’s overall results are similar to a recently released Gallup Poll that also showed strong support for legalizing marijuana. The survey was conducted between October 3rd and October 20, and didn’t distinguish between recreational and medical marijuana. More than half (68%) of the respondents indicated that they supported legalization. This is a new record. Monmouth University released a similar poll last month.