New Poll Shows Most Americans Think Recreational Marijuana Use Should Be Federally Legal

A new survey conducted by CBS News and YouGov once again shows the continually growing support for marijuana legalization at the federal level.

Marijuana items are pictured on a surface

Image via Getty/Justin Sullivan

Marijuana items are pictured on a surface

A newly released and undeniably well-timed poll shows that a strong majority of Americans are in favor of recreational marijuana being made legal at the federal level.

Results from the CBS News and YouGov poll, which follows similarly encouraging data from prior surveys of a complementary nature, were unveiled on 4/20. The survey sees participants answering whether they think the recreational use of marijuana should be legal, or not legal, under federal law. A reported 66 percent ( or two-thirds) of participants said they think such use should be federally legal, while 34 percent said the opposite. 

This 66/34 split was also observed among participants when asked the same question from a state-by-state perspective. Further breakdown of the stats shows that 81 percent of those who identify with a liberal ideology think recreational marijuana should be legal under federal law, against 50 percent of conservatives. The highest majority observed when grouping participants by age came in the 30-44 years range, with 73 percent of individuals in that age group saying recreational marijuana should be federally legal.

For a full rundown of the latest poll, click here. The survey was conducted between March 29-31, with a sample of 1,612 U.S. adults and a listed margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 points.

While a variety of celebrations are set to take place in multiple regions of the U.S., legalization advocates are reminding others who support the ongoing effort that such moments highlight the disparities in how marijuana use is treated across the country.

In a statement released to the press on Tuesday night, Paul Armentano—who serves as the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)—noted that political change is “never inevitable” and instead requires a sustaining work ethic among those pushing for reform.

“For far too long, America’s policies toward cannabis have been paradoxical,” Armentano said. “On the one hand, cannabis use is promoted and celebrated both culturally and commercially on days like 4/20 while on the other hand, federal law continues to vilify it—categorizing it in the same classification as heroin. In many states, the use and sale of cannabis are legally regulated, while in other parts of the country, law enforcement arrest 1,000 citizens a day for engaging in these same behaviors.”

For more info on how to contribute to the battle against marijuana prohibition, click here.

At the top of this month, a bill that would decriminalize marijuana was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. Supporters will recall that similar headlines were also spurred by such a bill back in 2020, though the effort ultimately failed to make additional progress.

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