A new poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that 61% of respondents approve of cannabis being legalized. This is the highest support has been in a nationwide poll to date.
While support for legalization was highest among Democrats and Independents, a rather robust 47% of Republicans supported marijuana legalization as well. This number is important because Republicans are the last defenders of prohibition; once they approve, there is no group left to stand in the way of freedom for cannabis users.
Broken down another way, while 82% of those aged 18 to 29 approve of legalization, a decent 44% of those over the age of 60 approve also.
So as the last bastions of prohibition fall away, that overall approval number of 61% will continue to go up. This number signals to politicians across the country that cannabis legalization is no longer an issue to avoid, but one to embrace.
According to Gallup, support for legalization was around 44% a mere 7 years ago. That is quite a bit of progress in a short amount of time, especially considering the decades of stigma-building around cannabis that proceeded those 7 years.
Much of this can, of course, be attributed to the proliferation of the Internet. Forty years ago most people in the U.S. had a landline home phone, a radio, a limited number of newspapers and 3 channels on TV. That was the sum total of their available places to get information and news. Today, from my phone, I can access information from 10 different websites in matter of minutes. Apps can send me notifications as soon as news breaks. If I want to know anything I can simply use a search engine and have answers in seconds.
In this kind of environment suppression of the truth is no longer possible for any extended length of time. The more people learn about cannabis, the more they favor its legalization.