Americans’ support for cannabis legalization remains at the record-high 68% recorded each of the past two years.
When Gallup first asked about legalizing cannabis in 1969, 12% of Americans were in favor. Support grew from there, reaching 31% in 2000 and surpassing the majority level in 2013. Since 2016, at least six in 10 have been in favor.
The latest results are based on an Oct. 3-20 Gallup poll.
Combining data for the past five years, from 2018 through 2022, allows for a more robust analysis of demographic differences in views about marijuana legalization than is possible from a single poll. Using this aggregate, Gallup finds support for legalization averaged 67% among the general population but varied significantly by subgroup. Conservative, religious and older Americans are the least supportive, while liberal, nonreligious and younger Americans are the most supportive.
Specifically, subgroups whose support for legalization exceeds the national average by 10 or more percentage points include those with no religious preference (89%), self-identified liberals (84%), Democrats (81%), young adults (79%) and those who seldom or never attend religious services (78%).
Groups whose support is at least 10 points below the national average include those who attend church weekly (46%), conservatives (49%), Republicans (51%), older adults (53%) and Hispanic adults (56%).
Americans have grown much more supportive of legalizing marijuana over the past two decades, but support appears to be leveling off for now, not showing any change in the past three years.
While majorities of most major subgroups are in favor of legalizing marijuana, there are a few holdouts — namely, political conservatives and regular churchgoers.