A poll released by Gallup today shows 58 percent of Americans want marijuana legalized. Support has almost doubled in the last 15 years. In 2000, just 30% of voters backed cannabis reform.
Millennial voters aged 18 to 34 showed the strongest level of support, 71%, for ending cannabis prohibition.
Still, a significant majority across age groups want to stop arresting consumers and put a regulated market into place. Voters polled that were 65 and older were the only demographic still in favor of the status quo.
"These trends suggest that state and local governments may come under increasing pressure to ease restrictions on marijuana use, if not go even further like the states of Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in making recreational marijuana use completely legal," Gallup said in a release.
Recently a Quinnipiac Poll showed results were slightly lower in Pennsylvania. Overall, 47% of voters in the Keystone state support legal marijuana while 49% oppose. The Quinnipiac survey found that an astounding 90% of voters want medical marijuana legalized.
Arrests for marijuana offenses are overwhelmingly for simple possession. Although decriminalization and legalization laws have been exacted around the country arrests are showing a slight uptick overall. States such as Michigan and New Jersey have seen a more than 10 percent increase in weed arrests in the last 5 years alone.
Chris Goldstein is associate editor of Freedom Leaf magazine and board member at PhillyNorml. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.