With all the bad news in the world, we're honored to bring you some good news: Support for legal marijuana is at an all-time high, according to two new polls. That's a good sign in and of itself, but especially so with weed on the ballot in multiple states on Nov. 8.
A new poll from Gallup found 60 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, which is the highest level of support in history, or at least in the poll's 47-year history. Not only that, but support has increased across the board.
It's pretty incredible how far America has come on the issue. When Gallup asked the question for the first time in 1969, only 12 percent of Americans supported legalization. In the 1970s, it got up to 28 percent before falling back down during the Reagan-years. In 2000, only 31 percent approved. For the first time in 2013, a majority finally supported legalization, following legalization in Washington and Colorado.
The Pew Research Center confirms the trend as well. In a poll released last week, 57 percent of American adults said weed should be legalized (which is a record high), with only 37 percent saying it should be illegal. Ten years ago, Pew found that only 32 percent supported legalization, compared to 60 percent who opposed it. Like Gallup, Pew saw support increasing across the board.
To put this into perspective, these polls mean that legalized pot is more popular than both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As Slate pointed out, "Hillary Clinton has an average favorability rating of just 43.8 percent." And Trump? He's only at 34.7 percent.
Notably, both Clinton and Trump claim to have never smoked weed. The Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, has been the CEO of a marijuana company. He's not smoking during his campaign, but the former governor has proudly admitted to marijuana use as recently as earlier this year (though maybe that's why he's had multiple "Aleppo moments"). For the first time since at least 1992, we'll have a president who has never smoked weed if Clinton or Trump win this election.
This could be a huge election for marijuana. According to the AP, nine states will have weed-related votes. Legalized recreation use is on the ballot in five states: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Legalized medical use is on the ballot in three states: Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota. And Montana will vote on whether to loosen up restrictions on its current medical marijuana law.
Currently, 25 states allow medical marijuana. Recreational use is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, D.C., and Washington state—meaning nearly 6 percent of Americans, around 18 million residents, can legally spark up. If marijuana is supported in the states where it's on the ballot, over 23 percent of Americans—around 75 million people—would live in states with legal weed.