For the first time in the history of Gallup, a clear majority of Americans (58%) support marijuana legalization.
Not only does this represent an all-time high, but it is an increase of 10 percentage points since last year, implying a drastic shift in public opinion on legalization.
Interestingly, the group which showed the largest increase in public support was independent voters, jumping from 50% to 62% support for marijuana legalization in just one year.
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While many factors could be in play, Gallup cites the legalization in Colorado and Washington as a likely contributing factor in the surge of public support. Also in play is the Obama Administration’s statement not to sue to block these laws, despite their illegality under federal law.
With the Obama Administration essentially paving the way for states to legalize marijuana, Florida, Idaho, Maine, and Oregon have recently made efforts to legalize the drug, which remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the 1970’s Controlled Substance Act.
In California, efforts have resulted in the 2014 California Cannabis Hemp Initiative, named “the most comprehensive effort” to legalize marijuana in the state yet.
“Whatever the reasons for Americans’ greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States,” Gallup reports.
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