Liberals, 18- to 29-year-olds express the highest levels of support
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While California's marijuana ballot initiative is garnering a lot of attention this election cycle, Gallup finds that nationally, a new high of 46% of Americans are in favor of legalizing use of the drug, and a new low of 50% are opposed. The increase in support this year from 44% in 2009 is not statistically significant, but is a continuation of the upward trend seen since 2000.
These results are from Gallup's annual Crime poll, conducted Oct. 7-10. Approximately 8 in 10 Americans were opposed to legalizing marijuana when Gallup began asking about it in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Support for legalizing the drug jumped to 31% in 2000 after holding in the 25% range from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.
A separate question in the poll asked about legalizing marijuana for medical use, and found support significantly higher than it is for legalizing the use of marijuana in general. Seventy percent of Americans say they favor making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering. This figure is down, however, from 78% in 2005 and 75% in 2003. [Fragmento]