US

Republicans remain divided on legalizing marijuana

Republicans remain divided on legalizing marijuana, a CBS News/YouGov poll found Wednesday.

Forty-nine percent of Republicans support legalizing marijuana, while 51 percent believe the plant should remain illegal for consumption. Republicans remained divided on the issue for several years.

Meanwhile, Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly support marijuana legalization. Sixty-seven percent of independents support its legalization. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats say the same.

Overall, 66% of Americans support recreational drug use. Seventy percent say they “would welcome” or “wouldn’t care” if a marijuana dispensary opened in their neighborhood.

The biggest supporters of marijuana legalization are those aged 30 to 44 (73%). Those least likely to support legalization are aged 65 and over (54%).

Marijuana legalization has been a controversial issue for decades. First made illegal in 1937, marijuana slowly became more popular and socially acceptable.

According to Gallup, only 12% of Americans thought marijuana should be legal in the 1960s. A decade later, that number had risen to 28%. In the 90s, those who thought it should become legal remained relatively stable.

But after 2000, American opinion changed dramatically. In 2000, 34% approved of the legalization of marijuana. Around 50% approved in 2010 and 68% approved in 2020.

Marijuana legalization is most supported by those earning more than $100,000 a year (74%) and those with a college degree (76%).

These numbers drop only slightly among those earning 40,000 or less (67%). Of those who have not graduated from college, 64% approve of drug legalization.

Marijuana legalization is also popular among churchgoers. Fifty-nine percent of those who attend church weekly or monthly support legalizing the flower. Seventy-nine percent of those who date less often also support legalizing marijuana.

CBS News/YouGov survey of 1,612 adults between March 29 and March 31, 2022 with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Follow Wendell Husebo on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.

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