Gallup: 64 percent of Americans want marijuana legal

Regulated Cannabis Grow

When Gallup first posed the marijuana legalization question in October 1969, only 12 percent of respondents were in favor.

The poll also marks another milestone: It's the first time the majority of Republicans support marijuana legalization, with 51% indicating that they'd like to see the end of federal prohibition.

Americans continue to warm to legalizing marijuana, with 64 percent saying its use should be made legal, the Gallup survey reports. This represents the highest support Gallup has recorded since it began polling on the issue 48 years ago.

A majority of Americans have supported the legalization since 2013.

In respect to political affililiation, the majority of both Republicans and Democrats now support legalizing the drug.

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.

The survey, which reached more than 1,000 United States adults from October 5 to 11, found that 64 percent of adults now back marijuana legalization.

For the first time since that 1969 poll, a majority of Republican voters told Gallup they are in favor of legalizing marijuana. Recreational marijuana has since been legalized in a total of eight states and D.C., including five where adults can purchase marijuana from government-regulated retail dispensaries: Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada and Washington state. 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.

Past year - in advance of nine states voting on legalization measures, eight of which passed - Americans favored legalization at a level of 60 percent. In the case of marriage equality, numerous changes in the law came through court rulings that found the laws against same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional and it was ultimately a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide.

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions could find himself out of step with his own party if the current trends continue", Gallup's Justin McCarthy said of Wednesday's numbers. "This is a clear mandate for the legislature to enact sensible marijuana laws to help the state create a workable budget".