The poll also showed a majority of Republicans favoring legalization for the first time, with 51 percent expressing support.
Seventy-two percent of Democrats told pollsters this month they support legalizing marijuana, up from 67 percent in 2016, according to the results published Wednesday. By increasing numbers, Americans were becoming comfortable with the idea of legalizing marijuana and the support for changing the laws regulating it at the state level only looked to be increasing in the future.
During that same period of time we've seen a growing number of states changing their laws to reflect the changes in public opinion and to reflect the reality that increasing evidence has shown that marijuana is not almost as harmful as other illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin, that contrary to popular myth it is not physically addictive, and that it is in many respect less harmful than legal substances such as alcohol and nicotine.
GallupRising support for legalizing marijuana seems to be a function of growing familiarity with it, which is in turn correlated with age. While still illegal at the federal level, the issue was featured on a number of state ballot initiatives in 2016, and with eight states and the District of Columbia having fully legalized marijuana, more than one in five Americans live in a state where they can legally enjoy use of the drug. "In 2009, Democrats were the first partisan group to see majority support for legalization, followed by independents in 2010", Gallup states on its website.
Past year - in advance of nine states voting on legalization measures, eight of which passed - Americans favored legalization at a level of 60 percent.
Another poll, released earlier today by Sacred Heart University, found that 71% of CT residents support legalizing and taxing cannabis for adult use.
Overall support for legalization has been rising since the mid-1980s, but the upward trend has accelerated in recent years as more and more states have moved away from prohibition.
The Trump administration's Department of Justice (DOJ) is now reviewing a policy from the Obama administration that discouraged federal law enforcement from interfering in state marijuana laws as long as they followed a certain criteria.
"Marijuana legalization is far more popular than Jeff Sessions or Donald Trump and will survive them both", Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.