Poll: Marijuana legalization supported by majority for first time

A majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana for the first time in CBS polling. 

A CBS poll released Thursday found 51 percent think the drug should be made legal, compared to 44 percent who do not.

ADVERTISEMENT
The poll adds to a long list of surveys in the past few months that have shown a similar shift in attitude. As recently as 2013, CBS polling had found support for legalization split at 45 percent. 

Majorities of every age group  — except for those over 65 — support legalization. 

Fifty-nine percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents support legalization. But 61 percent of Republicans oppose it. 

Polls by CNN, Gallup and The Washington Post have all found more people support rather than oppose legalization.

Sixty-five percent think the decision to legalize the drug should be left up to states rather than the federal government. 

The survey comes after Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize the recreational use of the drug through ballot measures in 2012. Colorado became the first state to begin selling the drug for recreational use earlier this year. 

The Justice Department last year told both states it would not take action to have the laws overturned, while also maintaining it would not prioritize prosecution of recreational use. 

The vast majority of people — 86 percent — support the use of medical marijuana even though most are skeptical that it is being used to alleviate suffering. 

The poll surveyed 1,018 people and has a 3 percent margin of error.  

More in News

Poll: Majority doubts deal will stop Iran nukes

Read more »