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Support for Weed Legalization Has Reached a New High

A recent Gallup poll indicates a record 64 percent of Americans support decriminalizing the drug.

Louise Matsakis

Louise Matsakis

Image via Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

Now that weed has been fully legalized in eight states, linked to a whole host of health benefits, and is the subject of a legitimate college degree, it's safe to assume that Americans' attitudes have been shifting toward the drug. Now, according to a new poll from Gallup, data shows that weed legalization is more popular than ever.

According to the poll, which surveyed 1,028 adults between October 5 and 11, 64 percent say they are in favor of marijuana legalization. That's the most support Gallup has seen for legalization since it started asking adults about their views on the issue way back in 1969. Although the poll found that a greater share of Democrats (72 percent) and Independents (67 percent) support legalization, it also found that a majority of Republicans (51 percent) are now in favor of legal weed.

The October Gallup poll echoes the findings of a University of Chicago survey that was published earlier this year. That poll found that support for weed legalization in America grew from 2014 to 2016 to 57 percent. It also discovered that in 2016, only about 40 percent of Republicans favored legal weed, while 60 percent of both Democrats and Independents were onboard. Now, with Gallup's 2017 data, it looks as if attitudes toward the Schedule I drug are steadily changing.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that weed is only "slightly less awful" than heroin, and the Department of Justice has been perceived as hostile toward state initiatives to legalize marijuana. If he keeps up that rhetoric, Sessions might soon find himself in disagreement with his own party.

Related: Can I Smoke Weed in Washington, DC?