Poll: Over half back national marijuana legalization
© Getty Images

Nearly six in 10 Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, a new poll says.

The latest Gallup survey found that 58 percent favor legalizing the use of the drug.


That result ties the highest point of support for legalizing pot in 46 years of sampling, the polling agency added Wednesday.

In 1969 Gallup began asking adults across the U.S. if they favor decriminalization of marijuana. Only 12 percent backed legalization at the time.

The figure rose to 23 percent in 1985, followed by 33 percent in polling across 2000 and 2001.

Adults aged 18 to 34 years have traditionally favored legalizing pot the most.

Gallup found that 71 percent of that demographic currently support legalization, up from 44 percent in 2000 and 2001.

Older people typically oppose making marijuana use legal.

Among adults over 65 years old, Gallup found that 35 percent currently favor legalization, compared to 17 percent in 2000 and 2001, 13 percent in 1985 and 4 percent in 1969.

Gallup conducted its latest survey via telephone interviews of 1,015 adults, aged 18 years and older, from Oct. 7 to Oct. 11. It has a 4 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.

A supporter of marijuana legalization said the poll results aren't surprising.

“These days it’s not especially exciting to see yet another poll showing majority support for legalizing marijuana, but 58 percent is a very strong share of the American people calling for change, and elected officials should listen,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, a group that supports legalizing marijuana.