More Americans than ever think marijuana should be legal, according to a new Gallup poll that found a majority of Republicans supporting legalization for the first time ever.
The 64 percent of Americans who told Gallup they support making marijuana legal is the most in the nearly 50 years Gallup has asked the question. It also represents a more-than-fivefold increase over the 12 percent of Americans who said they supported legalization the first time Gallup asked, in 1969.
These numbers come as legal weed is more accessible than ever across the country, with 29 states and Washington, D.C., allowing access for medical purposes and eight states legalizing recreational marijuana.
The biggest news in this survey is not that a majority of Americans want weed to be made legal — that’s been true since at least 2013 — but that Republicans are finally coming around. Just last year, only 42 percent of GOP members surveyed said they supported legalization. Gallup attributes the growing consensus to “efforts to legalize marijuana at the state level” and the success that followed.
The Republican support for legal weed hasn’t yet worked its way to the Trump administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions remains one of Washington’s most anti-weed figures, and earlier this year, then–White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer erroneously suggested that marijuana could worsen the opioid epidemic. In fact, it does quite the opposite. In states where medical marijuana is legal, opioid overdoses go down.
Democrats aren’t doing much better though. Despite 72 percent of Democrats supporting legalization, Senator Cory Booker’s bill to make weed legal nationwide has drawn a grand total of zero co-sponsors.