Poll: Most Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana | Marijuana

Poll: Most Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana


A new poll released Friday finds that 52 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. The results are in line with other recent surveys showing that most people in the U.S. want to end cannabis prohibition.

The new poll, from YouGov, found that only a third of Americans — 34 percent — oppose legalization.

Among Democrats, support for legalization stands at 66 percent, but only 36 percent of Republicans are on board.

The survey also asked a number of other questions about Americans feelings on marijuana.

Sixty-two percent say that the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have opted to legalize the drug. Majority support for letting states implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference was found among all age groups, races and political affiliations in the survey.

Just 31 percent believe that the use of cannabis leads to the use of harder drugs. No demographic group polled includes a majority of respondents who buy into the so-called “gateway theory.”

The survey found that 66 percent of Americans think the efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth. Interestingly, even among respondents who oppose legalization, more say that enforcement efforts aren’t worth the cost than say the money spent on prohibition is worth it.


Last October, Gallup found that 58 percent of Americans want marijuana to be legalized. Pew put the level of support at 53 percent in an April survey.

The new YouGov poll was conducted December 16-17, 2015 and included 1,000 web-based interviews with American adults. The margin of error is ± 4.6 percent.

About Author

Tom Angell covers policy and politics for Marijuana.com. Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit organization Marijuana Majority, which works to ensure that elected officials and the media treat legalization as a serious, mainstream issue. Marijuana Majority led the effort to get the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass a resolution telling the federal government to respect state marijuana laws, and orchestrated the first-ever endorsement for marijuana legalization by a U.S. Supreme Court justice (John Paul Stevens). Previously, Tom worked for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (All organizations are listed for identification purposes only.)


  1. OldBut YoungMoney on

    Polls are lies. I honestly couldn’t care whether weed is legal or not but polls of a 1000 people can never represent 320 million people. I find it so funny when people giving these propagandized polls say something like “52% of Americans” lmfao, you polled 1000 people max! That isn’t going to represent 1000 people. And do you not remember Ohio rejected weed? A state that was supposedly in the bag for it? I have no stance on weed, as long as there are age restrictions, I don’t care. Make it completely illegal or don’t, doesn’t matter to me, and it certainly won’t sway who I vote for or not.

    • You should care. There are Americans families that have loved ones in prison over a harmless plant. They are also a tax burden on the system. A regulated, taxed system will generate income for all state residents, keep it better controlled for underage use and relief residents of unwanted taxes used to support the largest prison population in the world instead of our infrastructure. Reform of the judicial system in the US in badly needed. People that vote on issues such as world peace or peace in the middle east are pissing in the wind. You will hear the same rhetoric and accomplish the same results by watching a Miss America beauty pageant.

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