A sheriff officer sifts through marijuana in the back of a trailer which was confiscated from a field last Wednesday in Sanger, Calif. Gary Kazanjian/AP
For the first time in four decades of polling, a majority of Americans support legalizing the use of marijuana.
A Pew poll released today found that 52 percent of those polled said marijuana should be legal. Forty-five percent said it should be illegal.
“Support for legalizing marijuana has risen 11 points since 2010. The change is even more dramatic since the late 1960s. A 1969 Gallup survey found that just 12% favored legalizing marijuana use, while 84% were opposed.
“The survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 13-17 among 1,501 adults, finds that young people are the most supportive of marijuana legalization. Fully 65% of Millennials –born since 1980 and now between 18 and 32 – favor legalizing the use of marijuana, up from just 36% in 2008. Yet there also has been a striking change in long-term attitudes among older generations, particularly Baby Boomers.”
This isn’t terribly surprising, of course. Back in October of 2011, we noted that in Gallup’s poll, support for legalizing marijuana had reached 50 percent for the first time ever.
The Washington Post reports that a November Post-ABC News poll found “the public split 48 to 50 percent on” the issue. “And 51 percent of registered voters supported legalization in a December Quinnipiac University poll.”
We’ll leave you with an interesting graph showing support by generational group. Notice that support from boomers is the highest since the ’70s.
A graph showing support for legalizing marijuana by generational group. Pew
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Pew: Majority Of Americans Now Favor Legalizing Marijuana