For The First Time, Majority of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization

The first national poll to ask potential voters their thoughts on marijuana since two states legalized the drug back in November has found that support for legalization is now a majority opinion for the first time since the question was first asked by Gallup back in 1969.

For The First Time, Majority of Americans Support Marijuana LegalizationS

52 percent of American adults told the Pew Research Center they supported marijuana legalization, compared with 45 percent who opposed it.

Support gained 11 percentage points since the last Pew poll on the subject was conducted in 2010.

"The change is even more dramatic since the late 1960s," the Pew Research Center notes. "A 1969 Gallup survey found that just 12% favored legalizing marijuana use, while 84% were opposed."

Though the poll's promising result is largely the product of overwhelming support for legalization among Millennials, Pew found that an attitude shift has occurred among all living generations, particularly Baby Boomers, who now support legalization in numbers not seen since before they became parents.

Other impressive statistics: 72% of the 1,501 adults surveyed say "government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth," and 48% say "they have ever tried marijuana" — an increase of 10% since the question was asked in 2002.

[photo via Shutterstock, graph via PRC]