Fifty-eight percent of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana. Younger generations expressed more enthusiastic support than the older generations. However, there are also more of the older generations shifting their views in support of legalizing the use of cannabis.
According to a recent poll conducted by Gallup, the 58 percent is the highest number to date yet. Gallup is predicting, based from the patterns of support by age, the percentage will continue to grow in the future.
Gallup noted that the all-time high percentage of Americans backing the legal use of cannabis happened as many states, lawmakers and big players in the industry are changing their stance on the matter. As previously reported by Morning News USA, the United Nations drug and policy board is said to be planning to lobby for votes for a proposal to decriminalize marijuana.
People may also be seeing the dramatic economic impact legal marijuana brings to the community as seen in Colorado. According to a report from The Cannabist, Colorado earned $700 million in sales of recreational and medical marijuana in 2014 – this is nearly $76 million in tax revenue. The Cannabist noted that Colorado is expecting to earn more than $1 billion this year.
Washington, Oregon and Alaska may all follow suit. Ohio voters are going to decide a ballot on the issue, but signs show that voters may all vote in favor of legal cannabis use.
The Gallup poll also noted that the issue has been one of significant topic in the 2016 presidential campaign trail. The poll noted that Younger Americans, Democrats and independents are more likely to support legal marijuana while Republicans and older Americans maintained their objections.
Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump are calling to enforce federal law on deciding whether it should be legal or illegal. Ben Carson and Marco Rubio calls for medical use of marijuana only. Jeb Bush, ted Cruz, Boby Jindal, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, rand Paul, George Pataki, Bernie Sanders and Jim Webb want for the states to decide on their own. Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton and martin O’Malley were undecided, saying lawmakers would first watch what happens to Colorado.
Bernie Sanders is the first major presidential candidate to vocally and on point express that he would support legalizing marijuana. “I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana,” Sanders said as reported by The Huffington Post.
“I think we have to think through this war on drugs, which has done an enormous amount of damage. We need to rethink our criminal justice system and we’ve got a lot of work to do in that area,” Sanders added.