A study conducted this month suggests that two-thirds of American adults still favour the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Support for cannabis legalization increased from 36% in 2005 to 66% in 2018, according to the annual crime survey conducted by Gallup. There has been no decrease in support for legalization this year despite the outbreak of a vaping illness that has led to more than 30 deaths and around 1,500 injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA during its investigation into the illness, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products. Black market THC cartridges have largely been blamed for the outbreak.
Yet that has not dented calls for marijuana to be legalized. More than 3,500 adults took part in the Gallup survey, and 66% said they want to see sales legalized across the U.S.
It found that there were no meaningful differences in support between gender, region, education, and income, while support was broadly the same in urban and rural areas. The differences appeared when respondents were divided into age, race, religion, and ideology.
Seventy-six percent of Democrats favour legalization, compared to 51% of Republicans and 68% of independents. Perhaps understandably, 82% of people that identify as liberals favour legalization, compared to 48% of conservatives and 72% of moderates.
Younger adults are a lot more likely to support marijuana legalization: 81% of adults under the age of 30 said they favour it, as do 80% of millennials born between 1980 and 2000. Just 49% of senior citizens favour the legalization of marijuana, while Baby Boomers and Generation X respondents were close to the national average.
Legalization holds the broadest support among black Americans, followed by white Americans and then Hispanics.
Gallup said it does not believe that President Trump will legalize marijuana at a federal level during his term in office, although it added that “it may not be long before a future president does so”.
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