New Pew Research Center Poll Finds 62 % of Americans Say the Use of Marijuana Should be Legalized

Press Release October 9, 2018
Media Contact

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Tommy McDonald 510-338-8827

A new Pew Research Center Poll finds 62% of Americans say the use of marijuana should be legalized, double what it was in 2000.

The poll also finds, “nearly seven-in-ten Democrats (69%) say marijuana use should be legal, as do 75% of independents who lean toward the Democratic Party. Republicans are divided, with 45% in favor of legalizing marijuana and 51% opposed. Still, the share of Republicans saying marijuana should be legal has increased from 39% in 2015.”

Statement from Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance:

“With yet another poll showing widespread support for legalizing marijuana use, the conversation is evolving from whether we’ll legalize marijuana to how we should do it.

“As states and localities move toward ending arrests and criminal punishment for marijuana use, we must address the devastation that marijuana prohibition has wrought, particularly among communities of color.  With such strong public support, including majorities among young liberals and conservatives alike, there’s only so long that the federal government can continue to hold out against reform. The Marijuana Justice Act would legalize marijuana the right way, by helping repair the communities most harmed by mass criminalization and the war on drugs.”

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Marijuana Justice Act in 2017, a bill modeled on California’s marijuana legalization initiative, that ends federal marijuana prohibition and centers communities most devastated by the war on drugs.


A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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