Pew Research: U.S. Adults Increasingly Support Marijuana Legalization

U.S. Adults

A new report from the Pew Research Center reveals marijuana legalization is gaining support in the United States.

Overall, 57 percent of American adults support legalizing pot, while 37 percent do not, according to an Oct. 12, 2016, report on Pew’s Fact Tank blog.

“A decade ago, opinion on legalizing marijuana was nearly the reverse—just 32 percent favored legalization, while 60 percent were opposed,” Fact Tank’s Abigail Geiger wrote.

In a statement released to, Tom Angell, Chairman of Marijuana Majority, commented on the Pew figures.

“It’s more clear than ever which way the country is moving on marijuana,” Angell said. “Legalization is polling much better than either presidential candidate, and politicians should do more to appeal to this growing constituency. No matter what happens in November, we know that a growing majority of Americans support ending cannabis prohibition, and the next president and Congress need to make it a priority to finally end outdated federal prohibition laws that stand in the way of full and effective implementation of state policies.”

The Fact Tank report also analyzed support and opposition within different demographic groups.

From a generational standpoint, support for marijuana legalization is at 71 percent among Millennials, which Pew defines as those of ages 18-35 in 2016. That’s up from 34 percent in 2006.

Generation X, or those of ages 36-51 in 2016, favors legalization by 57 percent, up from 21 percent in 1990.

A slightly larger shift in attitudes has taken place among Baby Boomers, those of ages 52-70 in 2016. In 1990, only 17 percent of Baby Boomers supported legalization, while 56 percent support it today.

From a political standpoint, Republicans are divided on legalization, while Democrats tend to favor it.

Fifty-five percent of Republicans want to keep marijuana illegal, while 41 percent support legalization.

Among Democrats, 66 percent favor legalization, while 30 percent want to keep it illegal.

In racial categories, Hispanics are most likely to oppose legalization, with 49 percent wanting to keep marijuana illegal, while 36 percent of whites and 37 percent of blacks support pot prohibition.

The staff byline designates content that has been written by a staff writer of MJINews.

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