Two More Polls Show Americans Support Marijuana Legalization

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Two more new national polls show that a majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana.

A Fox News survey, which involved phone interviews with 1,000 adults from December 8-11, 2019, showed that 63 percent of respondents support legalizing “the recreational use of marijuana on a national level,” while 34 percent oppose the policy.

A Marist poll, conducted in collaboration with NPR and PBS, surveyed 1,744 Americans from December 9-11, 2019, The results similarly showed 62 percent of respondents saying it is a “good idea” to legalize cannabis, with 33 stating it would be a “bad idea.”

The last time Fox News posed the question, in January 2018, 59 percent said the country should legalize. Marist found that 63 percent supported legalization in July of this year.

“This holiday season, Americans are more likely than ever to agree in favor of legalizing marijuana when the topic comes up at the dinner table,” Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment. “With a public majority mandate, now is our time to demand ending prohibition in advance of the 2020 elections.”

Marist also broke down the poll responses by partisan affiliation. As has been the case for numerous surveys on the issue, those who identify as Democrats or independents who lean Democratic are more supportive of legalization (76 percent) than those who identify as Republican or lean in that direction (44 percent).

Voters who supported President Trump in the 2016 election expressed greater opposition to the policy than Republicans and Republican-leaning independents as a whole. 40 percent of Trump supporters said they back legalization, compared to 55 percent who said it was a bad idea.

Every age group, except for the Silent Generation of those 73 and older, support ending federal marijuana prohibition, the poll found. It does not appear that Fox News provided demographic details about marijuana legalization supporters and opponents in their survey.

This is the latest in a series of recent polls that have shown growing and enduring support for legalization.

Pew asked almost 10,000 Americans about the issue and released survey results last month showing that 67 percent of respondents believe the country should legalize cannabis. Gallup similarly found that 66 percent of U.S. adults are in favor of legalization in a poll released in October.

Given this widespread support, particularly among Democratic voters, it's clear why the issue has become a major talking point for the majority of the party's 2020 presidential candidates, almost all of whom back legalization, with the notable exceptions of former Vice President Joe Biden and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

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