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Record Support for Legalizing Marijuana in the United States

26 October 2017

The 64 percent of Americans who told Gallup they support making marijuana legal is the most in the almost 50 years Gallup has asked the question.

A majority of Republicans are now in favor of marijuana legalization, a new Gallup poll released Wednesday finds. After rising by 10 points (29 percent) between 2001 and 2009, the percentage of Americans who say pot should be legal rose by 20 points (45 percent) between 2009 and 2017. Sixty-seven percent of independent respondents said in this year's poll they back the proposal.

Gallup began polling Americans on marijuana since 1969, when only 12 percent of national adults supported legalization. By increasing numbers, Americans were becoming comfortable with the idea of legalizing marijuana and the support for changing the laws regulating it at the state level only looked to be increasing in the future.

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"As public support for ending marijuana prohibition continues to grow, it is crucial that states continue to be given the freedom to serve as laboratories of democracy", Mr. Fox said.

A number of states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana at the state level and more than two dozen, including the district, have legalized it for medical purposes.

Advocates in MI are expected to qualify an initiative for the ballot next year that would regulate marijuana for adults, and at least 18 states are expected to have legalization bills introduced during their 2018 legislative sessions. That still lags far behind Democrats at 72 percent and Independents at 67 percent. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked lawmakers to undo federal protections for medical marijuana, repeatedly calling it a "dangerous drug".

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Legal marijuana now has equal support to gay marriage among Americans, Gallup notes.

Over half the US has legalized some form of marijuana use. Earlier this year, Vermont became the first state to approve a bill through its legislature that would have made marijuana legal for adults before being vetoed by the governor.

Coloradans voted in 2012 to legalize recreational marijuana, meanwhile, opening the door for the country's first state-licensed retail pot shops to open in January 2014.

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Record Support for Legalizing Marijuana in the United States