Data Talks: Most Americans Support Legalized Marijuana

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The body of evidence showing that a majority of Americans support legalized marijuana is growing. In April, a HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 51 percent of Americans believed that marijuana should be legalized, taxed, and regulated like alcohol. Later, in November, data compiled by Gallup, the General Social Survey, and Pew Research Center found that 52 percent of Americans supported legalized marijuana.

Most recently, a survey conducted by ORC International between January 3 and 5 showed that 55 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legal to use, and 54 percent believe it should be legal to sell. This is up from lows of 16 percent recorded by General Social Survey trends in 1990. Support for the legality of the drug has increased by as much as 11 percentage points over the last two years alone.

It’s important to point out that while 55 percent of overall respondents support legalization, views are still fairly polarized between certain demographics. Support among Democrats, for example, is at 62 percent according to the ORC International poll, but among Republicans, it is at just 36 percent. Liberals claimed an 80 percent support rate, while conservatives claimed a 36 percent support rate.

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