Support for legalizing marijuana for personal use has been steadily increasing.
Only nine percent of Americans currently believe that marijuana is more dangerous than either alcohol, sugar, or tobacco, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll given to 900 adults in the U.S. in January of this year, and 60 percent of all Americans support purchasing marijuana for personal use. Supporters of legalization are hoping to include this initiative on many states ballots this year.
Similarly, state legislators are looking to introduce bills in their legislatures to legalize the plant, to follow in Vermont’s footsteps. In January, Vermont was the first state to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana through its legislature – the bill, which also allows the growing of up to six plants, was signed into law on January 22.
The 60 percent national support rate is an increase from 2014 when support for it was 55 percent. The group of people who is most supportive is among ages 18-34 (73 percent), which is tied with the group of ‘all Democrats’. The older the population who is responding, the less supportive they are of legalization: 67 percent are supportive in ages 35-49, and this support drops to 54 percent in ages 50-64. Those who are 65 years old and older have only a 38 percent support rate.
In terms of political affiliation, support for its legalization is clearly divided — Democrats are most supportive, with 73 percent, following by Independents (64 percent) and only 43 percent of Republicans said they supported legalization. Digging down even further, among those who voted for President Trump in 2016, support for legalization was only 37 percent.
In terms of gender, more men favored legalization (64 percent) over women (57 percent). However, in those polled who were under 50 years old, it was almost identical: 71 percent of men favored legalization, and 70 percent of women did.
The results of a poll taken of 600 Michigan residents last month shows similar results. The poll was given by EPIC-MRA on behalf of the Michigan Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws; its results say that 61 percent of respondents would vote in support of the legalization of marijuana. That is an increase from the 57 percent who said that they would vote yes just a year ago.
“Legalization is just common sense,” said Patrick T. Barone, principal attorney and founder of the Barone Defense Firm. “I see too many people whose lives are turned upside down with drug convictions, ranging from fines to imprisonment. Marijuana should not be put into the same category as hard drugs and it is time that Michigan law catches up with what its citizens clearly believe.”