News & Opinion | March 20, 2019 4:20 pm

Poll Shows 61% of Americans Want Weed Legalized

Support has grown across all age groups and political parties.

ancient viruses infected weed plants
Ancient viruses infected cannabis plants. (Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

A new poll out from the General Social Survey (GSS) shows that 61% of Americans agree: weed should be legal, Business Insider reports.

The GSS has been tracking support for marijuana legalization since the 1970s and said that 2018 saw a record high for support. The years 1987 and 1990 are tied at 16% for the lowest amount of support for the plant’s legal status.

Although illegal on a Federal level, ten states including Colorado, California, and Washington have legalized the recreational use of weed, with another 30-plus making it legal to use for medical purposes.

While only 42% of people over the age of 65 are in favor of legalizing the plant, more than 70% of supports between the ages of 18 and 34 want to have the option to purchase the drug legally.

Support for weed legalization has also grown across political party lines with Democrats favoring legalization by 69%, Republicans by 42% and independents by 66%. Only a third of the Republican party was in favor of legalization in 2012.

“Marijuana legalization, if you look back, was really something for fringe candidates. It’s just not very controversial at all now,” John Lapp, a national Democratic campaign strategist told The Boston Globe.