A recent Pew poll shows that marijuana legalization has gained support nationwide with 52 percent of Americans now saying it should be made legal. In 2002, only 32 percent said it should be legal.
Support has increased among all age groups, but two-thirds (65%) of the Millennial Generation is now in favor of it, up from 36 percent in 2008. As the table shows, strength among younger generations is moving support toward legalization.
As important, some of the fundamental attitudes and behaviors that kept pot illegal in the minds of most Americans have shifted.
- 48% now say they have tried marijuana, up from 38% 10 years ago
- 38% say it leads to use of hard drugs, down from 60% who said that in 1977
- 32% say its morally wrong to use, down from 50% in 2006
- 72% say enforcing marijuana laws costs more than they are worth
Very important for Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012, 60 percent of Americans do not believe the federal government should enforce federal anti-pot laws in states where it’s legal.
Although the U.S. Attorney General is considering the federal approach to state legalization, it mostly appears Colorado is on its own.