91% of U.S. Adults Say Marijuana Should Be Legal Either For Medical And Recreational Use

Marijuana leaf/American flag graphic.
Marijuana leaf/American flag graphic. Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.

The latest Pew Research Center survey released November 14th says the share of U.S. adults who oppose legalization has fallen from 52% in 2010 to 32% today. A strong majority of U.S. adults (91%) say marijuana should be legal either for medical and recreational use (59%) or that it should be legal just for medical use (32%). Less than one-in-ten (8%) favor keeping marijuana illegal in all cases.

Majorities of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1997), Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Members of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) continue to be the least supportive of legalization: Only 35% favor legalizing marijuana, while 64% are opposed.

The generational divide in views of marijuana legalization exists within both political parties. Large majorities of Boomer (81%), Gen X (76%) and Millennial Democrats (78%) say the use of marijuana should be made legal, compared with 53% of Silent Generation Democrats who say this.

Millennial Republicans also broadly favor legalizing marijuana use; in fact, Republicans in this generation are almost as supportive of legalization as Millennial Democrats (71% vs. 78%). Gen X and Boomer Republicans are more closely divided, with 55% of Gen X Republicans and 49% of Boomer Republicans favoring legalization. GOP members of the Silent Generation are the least likely to favor marijuana legalization: Just 21% say marijuana use should be legal, while three-quarters (76%) say it should not.

The increase in public support for legal marijuana has come as a growing number of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

For more on this story, read Two-thirds of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization by Andrew Daniller at Pew Research Center.


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