According to a new poll released by Gallup, for the first time ever the majority of Republican voters support marijuana legalization.
Every once and awhile a poll comes out that says that more Americans than ever support marijuana legalization.
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A record-high percentage of Americans - 64% - support marijuana legalization.
Morgan Fox, the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement Americans are "tired" of wasting resources arresting individuals for using marijuana.
During that same period of time we've seen a growing number of states changing their laws to reflect the changes in public opinion and to reflect the reality that increasing evidence has shown that marijuana is not almost as harmful as other illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin, that contrary to popular myth it is not physically addictive, and that it is in many respect less harmful than legal substances such as alcohol and nicotine.
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As for Democrats, 72% support legalization, up from 67% when Gallup polled the question previous year, and 67% of independents support legalization as well. By 2001, however, about a third of Americans favored legalizing marijuana, and support has steadily increased since.
California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, paving the way for 28 other states and the nation's capital to follow suit. 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 margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Even larger majorities of independents (67 percent) and Democrats (72 percent) are in favor of legal marijuana.
"Marijuana policy liberalization over the past 20 years has certainly been associated with increased marijuana use; however, policy changes appear to have occurred in response to changing attitudes within states and to have effects on attitudes and behaviors more generally in the U.S." the study stated. Despite this slower pace, though, the trend toward more liberal marijuana laws and eventually nationwide legalization, seems to be fairly clear.
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