More Americans are voicing their support for the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use, according to a recent survey.
The 2018 General Social Survey revealed that 61 percent of respondents said that marijuana use should be legalized. The support for the legalization of marijuana has increased from 57 percent in 2016.
The survey also revealed that 31 percent believes that the substance should not be legalized, down from 38 percent in 2016.
Growing Support For The Legalization Of Marijuana
The GSS has been gauging the public's opinion about marijuana use since 1973 when only 19 percent of the population agrees to legalize the substance. However, there has been growing support and acceptance for marijuana in the United States and around the world in recent years.
The survey also found that for the first time, the majority of Republicans support the legalization of marijuana in the country. In 2016, only 45 percent were in favor of it. Last year, it increased to 54 percent.
Democrats, however, have been backing the legalization of marijuana since 2014. Two years ago, 65 percent agreed that marijuana should be made legal for medical and recreational use. In 2018, more Democrats were in support even for the legalization of marijuana. It was backed by 76 percent of Democrats in the new survey.
The support for the legalization of marijuana has also been up across all age groups, especially among younger adults. The majority of Americans (72 percent) from ages 18 to 34 endorse the legalization of marijuana in 2018.
Changing Opinions On Marijuana Use
"Our time has come," stated Justin Strekal of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition."
A total of 10 states across the country have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Meanwhile, medical use of the substance has been approved in 34 states, including Florida.
Two years after the public voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that will allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the legislation legalizing the substance.
However, the government still classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug, lumping it alongside heroin and cocaine. Advocates hope that the growing support of the public would force the government to reconsider its scheduling.