More and More Americans Are Down with Weed, Survey Says

The number of Americans who think weed should be legalized grew to 57 percent in 2016, a new survey found.
March 29, 2017, 9:46pm
Photo courtesy of Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

Attorney General Jeff Sessions might believe weed is only "slightly less awful" than heroin, but a new nationwide survey indicates a majority of the country seems to have a more positive outlook on the drug, the Washington Post reports.

The new data, collected by the University of Chicago's General Social Survey, found that more Americans are cool with the idea of legalizing weed now than they were a few years ago—up from 52 percent in 2014 to 57 percent in 2016.

But that doesn't mean everybody's on the same page when it comes to transforming marijuana into an on-the-books industry, specifically among older people and Republicans. While a majority of people aged 18 to 64 support legal weed, only about 42 percent of people who are 65 and older agreed with them.

Additionally, support for marijuana remains split along party lines. There was a 20 percent gap between the way Democrats and Independents feel about weed compared to Republicans. While more than 60 percent of both Independents and Democrats think pot should be legal, only about 40 percent of Republicans felt the same way.

Even though the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug—alongside heroin, acid, and bath salts—the recent survey seems to indicate Americans' attitudes toward the drug are changing. A recent Quinnipiac poll found a similar nationwide trend, with 71 percent of Americans saying they don't believe the feds should crackdown on legal weed—something Sessions may be thinking about doing.

But then again, while we're on the subject of polls, it might be worth noting that most Americans think Jeff Sessions should resign. So there's that.