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Pew Research Finds Majority Supports Marijuana Legalization

For the first time ever Pew Research found a majority now support marijuana legalization. According to the poll, 52 percent say marijuana should be legal, while only 45 percent of Americans believe it should still be illegal. This is not the first national pollster to find that more than half of the country thinks marijuana prohibition should end, but Pew is one of the most respected and widely cited names in public opinion polling. From Pew:

There is very clear trend in opinions about marijuana. Support has been growing for twenty years, with the trend escalating in the past few years. Since just 2010 support has increased by 11 points.

All indications are that support will continue to grow in the coming years since there is a significant generational divide. Young people overwhelmingly believe marijuana should be legal, while senior citizens are the only age group where a majority thinks it should still be illegal

One of the most important changes is how people think of marijuana use on a moral level. Back in 2006, 50 percent of Americans thought smoking marijuana was morally wrong, while only 45 percent saw it as morally acceptable or simply not a moral issue. That has completely flipped. Now only 32 percent think marijuana is morally wrong, while 62 percent think it is acceptable or not an issue of morality.

Voters have already legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington State. Based on the polling trends, it is only a matter of time before that change is adopted more widely.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at