According to a recent poll by Gallup, 64% of Americans favor legalizing the plant.
When Gallup starting asking Americans the question back in 1969, only 12% of Americans were for legalizing marijuana.
“The trajectory of Americans’ views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades,” Gallup said in an online post.
“On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64 percent favor each. Over the past several years, Gallup has found that Americans have become more liberal on a variety of social issues.”
While marijuana is still illegal under federal law, eight states — Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska — and the District of Columbia have made marijuana legal, even for recreational use. Many other states have legalized medical use of marijuana. According to Gallup, one in five Americans lives in a state with legal marijuana.
Gallup found that views on marijuana vary along party lines with Democrats having supported legalization more than Republicans. However, in this latest survey 51% of Republicans support legal marijuana. That was nine percentage points higher than last year, Gallup said.
Overall, the cannabis industry is now worth U.S. $7.2 billion and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17%, according to New Frontier, a data-analysis group focusing on the cannabis industry. The industry will be worth $24 billion and will create more than 300,000 jobs by 2020, asserts New Frontier. Greenwave Advisors estimates the market could be as large as $87 billion should the entire U.S. move to legalize cannabis.