Half of all Americans support the legalization of marijuana as a recreational drug—a record high that could significantly alter both federal and state-level policies surrounding one of the most protracted and contested issues in the nation, the Huffington Post reported Tuesday, citing a new Gallup poll.
The poll figures show a four-percent increase over 2010—when 46 percent Americans responded in favor of legalizing pot—and a 10-percent jump over 2009, when 40 percent of Americans affirmed their support for legalization.
The Gallup poll, a summary of which can be viewed by clicking here, was based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 6-9—amid a U.S. Department of Justice crackdown in California on medial marijuana collectives and the landlords on whose properties they are based.
Last Friday, October 14, the City of Los Angeles gained a legal victory when a judge ruled in favor of a citywide medical marijuana ordinance whose enforcement was stalled by a flood of lawsuits by pot dispensaries.
The Gallup poll respondents included largely male and liberal-minded majorities, particularly from the West and the Midwest. Sixty-two percent of the respondents aged 18-29 years voted in favor of legalization—exactly double the percentage of respondents aged 65 years or more who also supported legalization.