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Majority of Republicans support marijuana legalization
26 October 2017, 12:26 | Tara Lloyd
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Just past year, only 42 percent of GOP members surveyed said they supported legalization. This is the highest level of public support Gallup has found for the proposal in almost a half-century of measurement.
A new Gallup poll released Wednesday shows support for making marijuana legal in the US has reached a record level of 64 percent, up from 60 percent previous year and 50 percent in 2011. "On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64 percent favor each".
"The trajectory of American's views on marijuana is similar to that of their view on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades", Gallup officials wrote in the release of the marijuana poll results.
Among Democrats and Independents, legalization support is now 72% and 67%, respectively. By increasing numbers, Americans were becoming comfortable with the idea of legalizing marijuana and the support for changing the laws regulating it at the state level only looked to be increasing in the future. The latest figure, based on an October 5-11 poll, follows shifts in the legal landscape regarding marijuana since Gallup's 2016 measure. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states while recreational marijuana is legal in eight states and Washington, D.C. On Oct. 23, the Maine Legislature passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in their state.
The sharp shift in Republican voters' views on pot is the most significant finding in the Gallup poll, coming during a time of increased federal skepticism of marijuana legalization efforts. Most recently marijuana was legalized in 2016 in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and ME via citizen referenda and voters in a number of other states approved legalization for medicinal purposes.
"Americans are exhausted of wasting resources arresting hundreds of thousands of individuals every year for using a substance that is safer than alcohol", said Morgan Fox, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
"Marijuana legalization is far more popular than Jeff Sessions or Donald Trump and will survive them both", Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.
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