Poll Shows 69 Percent of Americans Favor Legal Weed, a New Record High

Poll found that 78 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Republicans, and 67 percent of independents favor legalization, as do majorities of every age demographic.


Public support for marijuana legalization has reached a new high.

According to pollsters at Quinnipiac University, 69 percent of all Americans and clear majorities in every demographic group now favor the legalization of marijuana. That's up from 51 percent of Americans who said they favored legalization in 2012, the first year Quinnipiac included questions about marijuana in their national surveys, and up from 60 percent who backed legalization in 2019. The trend is unmistakable.

Support isn't just growing, it is broadening. The Quinnipiac poll found that 78 percent of self-identified Democrats, 62 percent of self-identified Republicans, and 67 percent of self-identified independents favor legalization. The only age demographic where support for legalization falls short of 70 percent is for respondents who are 65 and older—though even that cohort supports legalization by a slim margin (51 percent).

The Quinnipiac poll, which surveyed 1,237 American adults between April 8 and 12, is in line with other recent snapshots of the electorate. A Gallup poll taken in November 2020 found 68 percent of Americans favor legal weed.

Those numbers show that politicians who continue to oppose legalization are increasingly out of step with the anti-prohibition sentiments of the general public.

That includes President Joe Biden, who recently reiterated his opposition to legal marijuana. "He believes in decriminalizing the use of marijuana, but his position has not changed," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last month.

But such politicians are in the minority. Outside of the White House, the political trend is almost as clear as the trend within public opinion. New York and New Mexico recently became the 16th and 17th states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Significantly, as Reason's Jacob Sullum highlighted, both states changed their stance on marijuana by passing legislation rather than using a ballot initiative, which is how most states have moved to legalize weed.

Similarly, the Virginia General Assembly voted earlier this year to accelerate the process of legalization in that state—which was originally set to legalize possession of marijuana in 2024, but will now do so on July 1 of this year (sales will still be illegal until 2024, however).

These are important changes, because they signal that state lawmakers are starting to catch up with prevailing public opinion—which, in turn, means that legalization efforts may no longer have to route around state legislatures and governor's offices in order to succeed.

Congress and the White House are a different story. But Biden has always been something of a rusty weather vane when it comes to policy, and the wind is blowing hard in a clear direction on this one.

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  1. What?!?! Legalize marijuana and decimate the billions in drug war profits earned by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies?!?! Say it ain’t so!!

    1. And don’t forget about the “I thought I smelled marijuana” as probable cause.

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    2. The Feds will get on board, but only if they get a cut. Legal weed is already too expensive.

      1. Make weed legal, and Marxism illegal.

  2. Nice.

    1. Don’t confuse “the laws aren’t worth the trouble” with “Pot’s great!” There are people out there who do not agree with what you do but recognize you have the right to make any choices you want for yourself. Even if they think you are an idiot.

      1. Should have clarified I was making a joke about the number 69. Might not be the right platform for that to land lol.

  3. yeah they’re giving up *that* control ever. lol

  4. This is just stealth revocation of asset forfeiture.
    A giant federal bailout of democrat controlled cities will be necessary to replace lost revenue.

    (Of course, someone could sue Basement Bunker Biden and force him to admit there are proven medical uses of the devil weed, and it is illegal to have it listed on schedule I.)

  5. Legal Weed, a New Record High

    Then pass it around, Boehm!

  6. Good for Biden, I hope he doesn’t relent on this!

    All the more reason for more States to pursue nullification of federal authority.

  7. The only age demographic where support for legalization falls short of 70 percent is for respondents who are 65 and older—though even that cohort supports legalization by a slim margin (51 percent).

    Andrew Cuomo has a “solution” for that.

  8. Huxley said Soma was a way to a compliant populace, Orwell said it was newspeak. The race is on.

    1. +

      And alcohol…. and “mother’s little helpers” and…..

    2. I don’t think removing the worst consequence of cannabis (criminalization) is a bad thing. Young people drink less alcohol than previous generations, so I don’t see a net increase in intoxication or soma-like hypnosis. Comparing intoxicant to intoxicant, cannabis is safer.

      Ever smoked weed, jesse? If you are a user of alcohol, it is actually less intoxicating, once you are somewhat practiced.

      1. Lol. I always love the excuses people make for their vices. Hilarious though.

        I dont give a fuck if you dumb yourself down. Although for you I worry about it as youre already pretty low.

        But apparently you never read brave new world to even understand the reference. Just another piece of ignorance you embrace.

      2. And just so we are clear here. I have vices. But I don’t go online attempting to justify them. I understand them. I understand the trade offs for partaking them. I regulate them based on priorities in my life.

        You? You go seek to rationalize and defend your vices instead of just recognizing them for what they are.

        Are you co dependent?

        1. First off, here, breathe into this bag. There, it’s going to be ok.

          I asked a simple question. Reread this exchange and try to self reflect.

          I have read brave new world. And so? And so people should continue to prison for a plant? Not sure what you’re getting at, other than general hostility.

          1. You’re not sure? Well, you are simple, thick, and dull.

          2. You see, marijuana legalization is more supported by Democrats than Republicans, so that’s how we know it’s bad. – JesseAZ, probably

  9. What percentage wants it to be regulated and taxed to death?

    1. The ones who will write the laws….

  10. But what do Libertarians think? They never poll us

    1. You mean all those eleven who were polled?

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  12. So let’s say the fed legalize it someday. Does that mean ATF updates its form or do they still deny you 2A rights. I think you know the answer.

  13. I oppose because Reason supports it and I am convinced the writers are basically wrong on every possible issue.

    1. yes but youre clearly an idiot. so hows that make Reason look bad?

  14. I assume Biden is waiting for the right moment to cash this one in. Maybe closer to an election.

    I think libertarians and Democrats can join forces for other such issues, and it would only be natural. There’s talk of reframing the cop issue not to “defund the police” (bad messaging) but to end traffic stops for minor infractions. I don’t care how white you are, I feel like that should be appealing to anyone who’s ever been shafted for an expired sticker or whatever. Just send an email to the offender and eliminate the risk that some piggy will get his fee fees hurt for doing his job and shoot someone dead over an air freshener.

    1. I got some bad news for ya fella; Democrats don’t join forces, they take things over.

      1. That’s his idea of ‘joining forces’. Just like his idea of compromise is everyone else abandons their beliefs and gives them everything they want.

    2. Yes, Dems seem interested in working with others. Really. They do.

      1. Why do Republicans never have to practice any personal responsibility whatsoever?

        Democrats are proposing laws that are 60%+ popular, and Republicans can’t even articulate why they’re against them. But against them they are, nonetheless.

        If you really care about government not being paralyzed, bitch at Mitch.

        1. “Why do Republicans never have to practice any personal responsibility whatsoever?”


          Hint: Not the Republicans. Republicans do not have to do shit. Just let Biden fuck up and throttle all Dems with his policies they tacitly support.

          “If you really care about government not being paralyzed, bitch at Mitch.”

          Why should I bitch at the minority leader instead of the ones who, you know, RUN THE FUCKING GOVERNMENT”

          If Schumer cannot handle the job, c’est la vie.

          “Democrats are proposing laws that are 60%+ popular,”

          Explains their Orwellian tactics to pass them. Because they are so damned popular.

          1. “Republicans do not have to do shit.”

            So patriotic.

            1. We are, you’re not. You should be killed as a traitor. After a tribunal hearing and treason conviction.

    3. Assuming Biden is calling the shots. Harris is a prosecutor, prosecutors like laws, they like reasons to charge people with crimes. For all her talk of black people getting locked up, she still instinctively likes a prohibition.

      1. Perhaps, but as much as I hate cops, I won’t stereotype all prosecutors.

        I’m sure Biden’s plan to appoint more public defenders as judges and justices department officials will be met with resounding approval by both political parties.

        1. He will spot activist idiots. Jurists who think like you. So it’s a huge problem.

  15. This poll could encourage some / more GOP governors and state legislative leaders to decriminalize weed in red states, and states that don’t allow ballot initiatives (e.g. PA).

    Had Trump simply removed weed from the list of Schedule 1 Drugs, he’d have won reelection in a landslide.

  16. Weed is a terrible drug. It makes people psychotic. We know this from research from decades ago. Watch the documentary “reefer madness”.

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  18. 69 pct of the population oppose the position of the other 31 %.

    News cycle. Rinse, spin, repeat. Inventing controversy.

  19. Great. Now every place in the US will be like Somerville, MA. My neighbors below, above me, and to to the left and right of me all smoke weed nonstop. I can’t even open a window or run a window unit A/C unless I want to feel like I’m living in a Cheech and Chong movie.

    Time to move to a SFH in the burbs. Fuck.

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