Home Culture Demographics and Marijuana Legalization Support

Demographics and Marijuana Legalization Support


So we all know that marijuana legalization is a hot topic as of late. According to the poll measured by Gallop, support for marijuana legalization is higher than ever at 58%!

Now, their definition of marijuana legalization is a broad one – they do not specify between medicinal and recreational marijuana. Yet without asking to be specific over half of Americans approve of legalizing cannabis.

In 2013, support was actually up to this same percentage – yet it took a dive down to 51% in 2014. In the most recent poll in 2015 support has jumped right back up to 58% and it is unclear why the sudden drop and increase even happened.

To make it clear where each generation stands on legalization, here’s the break down.

  • Adults 80 and older (Born 1935 and earlier) – 19% for legalization
  • Adults 79-65 (Born 1935-50) – 40% for legalization
  • Adults 50-64 years old (Born 1951-65) – 58% for legalization
  • Adults 35-49 years old (Born 1966-80) – 64% for legalization
  • Adults 18-34 years old (Born 1997-81) – 71% for legalization

Looking at these numbers, it’s quite obvious that the older generations are still (as they have always been) the least in favor of legalization. The 80 and older generation has seen the smallest increase, at 11% since 1969, 4% in ‘85 and only 1% in the last 10+ years.

Adults ages 65-79 have a slightly more prominent increases, starting at 20% in ’69 and steadily growing to the 40% in this year’s poll. However over the years there has been increases they do not compare to that of the Baby Boomer generation (1951-1965) which have seen a 26% increase since 1985.

In theory, support for marijuana legalization is only going to continue to grow from here on out as the older generations are replaced by the younger ones. As each younger generation climbs higher up in years and new young adults answer the poll it is likely we will see a large increase in these numbers.

This growing number may eventually make an impact on how our government views marijuana reform – something that has been talked about a lot among presidential campaigners recently. The good news is that both Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul have made sure it was on the record – they support decriminalization and would let the states make their own laws when it comes to legalization.

With the growing support, 23 states and the District of Colombia with some form of marijuana reform laws and many more on the way, it is only a matter of time before we see some real changes.

As the generations change opinions and more and more young individuals come into adulthood, things are going to move in a new direction and the pace at which it happens is only going to keep accelerating.