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  • Writer's pictureRandy Shaffer

New Poll: Americans High On Marijuana Legalization

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Spreading ... like a weed

Support for marijuana legalization has been growing across the United States for more than half a decade now, and the results of this effort have dramatically shifted public opinion in only a few short years.

In 2010, for example, California citizens proposed Prop 19, which would have legalized marijuana for recreational use. This bill went to a vote, where it was promptly defeated. Ultimately, 53% were against legalization, and 46% were in favor of the bill. But that was 2010, and times have most certainly changed.

Just six years later, in 2016, California would go on to pass a new recreational marijuana legalization bill. This time, the tables were turned. 57% of Californians voted to legalize marijuana, with just under 43% voting against the bill.

So what exactly happened? Essentially, wherever cannabis becomes legal for medical purposes, popularity -- not to mention education in the herb -- increases. This results in a better understanding of cannabis from the public. Not everyone is a stoner, nor is everyone knowledgeable or passionate about cannabis, but education in marijuana helps ordinary citizens gain a stronger understanding of marijuana and its users.

New polling data shows America favors pot

A new poll released by Gallup now puts marijuana over the top, with a whopping 66% in favor of full marijuana legalization. This number correlates fairly well with a recent Pew Research poll that placed 62% of Americans in favor of legal weed. The diagram above, created by Gallup, shows a steady (and sharp) increase in a positive opinion of marijuana legalization.

Just in the past decade alone, 2008 to 2018, Americans have joined the marijuana legalization bandwagon by leaps and bounds. In 2008, roughly 44% of Americans favored legal pot, but that number has steadily increased now by a shocking 22%.

As states continue to roll out medical marijuana and recreational legalization efforts, and as nearby neighbors like Canada legalize cannabis for recreational use, we are seeing a windfall of pot support, the likes of which we have honestly never seen in the United States.

Republicans may soon join the fight for legalization

Support for marijuana legalization has gained traction among independent voters and Democrats for some time, but slow to adopt a pro-weed stance have been Republicans. Conservatives have notoriously favored prohibition for more than three decades. This is following Nixon placing marijuana on the Controlled Substances list as a dangerous Schedule I narcotic, and Reagan waging a war on drugs.

But there's a tide coming within the Republican party, and that tide may favor legal cannabis. In the past decade alone, 2008 to 2018, Republican support has risen by 23%, a steady increase since states began to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Now, more than 51% of Republicans favor fully legalizing marijuana.

This is a startling statistic, one that could cost Republican lawmakers their seats if they don't listen to their base and start favoring, or at least warming up to, legalization efforts. Numbers like these will only continue to increase, and lawmakers who don't wise up may find themselves struggling to find majority support come election time.

Is recreational marijuana legalization next in Ohio?

Thanks to medical marijuana Ohio House bill 523, marijuana is now legal throughout the Buckeye State for medical use. But is recreational marijuana legalization next for Ohio? It seems likely that the state will consider a bill in the next year or two, especially if Democrat Richard Cordray wins Ohio Governor. He has already offered vocal support of any legalization effort that may arrive on his desk. If his anti-pot opponent, Mike DeWine, wins, he will likely veto recreational legalization (but will continue to allow medical marijuana).

In 2015, the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative (or Issue 3) was proposed by Responsible Ohio. This bill would have legalized marijuana for recreational use but would have placed ownership of the entire Ohio cannabis industry into the hands of only a select group of marijuana entrepreneurs (who helped back the bill in the first place).

The "monopoly" element of Issue 3 was ultimately its downfall. Though, at the time, Ohioans approved of legalization efforts by 53% (with 90% in favor of mmj), many passionate marijuana advocates simply couldn't back a bill that closed the marijuana industry down to a narrow group of cultivators. That bill was easily defeated, with 63% saying no, and 36% in favor.

But in 2015, polls showed that Ohioans favored legal weed by 53%. It's highly likely that number has increased to just below, or just above, 60%. This would keep Ohio opinion in line with the rest of the country. And with Canada having full recreational legalization, pressure is likely to mount on Ohio lawmakers to make a serious change to state's marijuana laws.


In the meantime, if you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana. Click hereto learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.


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