Poll: 64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana

A new Gallup poll shows growing support for marijuana legalization, with 64 percent of Americans now in favor of the measure.

The number is the highest level of support in nearly half a century of surveying adults on the issue, according to Gallup. Support has steadily increased in recent years, with the latest figure up 4 percentage points over last year and up 14 points from 2011.

In response to the latest numbers, the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana-focused policy organization, said the increased support for legalization “makes sense.”

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“Americans are tired of wasting resources arresting hundreds of thousands of individuals every year for using a substance that is safer than alcohol,” said Morgan Fox, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. 

The poll also showed a majority of Republicans favoring legalization for the first time, with 51 percent expressing support. That number is up 9 percentage points from last year, according to Gallup.

The poll is based on telephone interviews conducted from Oct. 5 to 11, with a random sample of 1,028 adults living in all 50 states. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

The Gallup poll shows more support than a recent Harvard-Harris Poll survey, which found 49 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized for medical and personal use.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use for adults in eight states and the District of Columbia, though recreational commercial sales are currently not allowed in D.C.