Speed Reads

happy 4/20

Support for legalizing marijuana reaches new high

More Americans than ever believe marijuana should be legal, a CBS News study has found. A whole 61 percent of Americans support its legalization, a five-point leap up from 2016. Seventy-one percent of Republicans, Democrats, and independents oppose efforts to stop marijuana sales in states where it is legal, and 88 percent of Americans support the use of medical marijuana.

There is still a bit of a generation gap on the issue, though, with people over 65 being the most opposed to legalizing marijuana and people under 65 being the most in support of it. In 1979, the same CBS poll showed that just 27 percent of Americans thought marijuana should be legal.

Additionally, half of Americans now say they have tried marijuana. In 1997, only a third of Americans said the same. Most Americans who have tried marijuana say they think it is less dangerous than other drugs, and most people on the whole say it is safer than alcohol.

But could federal legalization come under President Trump — or more specifically, under his attorney general, Jeff Sessions? "We need grownups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger," Sessions said last year (more about that here at The Week).

The CBS survey reached 1,011 adults between April 11-15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four points. See the full results here.