On Monday, Gallup released a poll showing a record 66% of Americans think cannabis should be legal—a couple of percentage points more than the number of people who support gay marriage.
- Ten years ago, only 40% of voters supported legalization.
- It only rose above 50% in 2011.
- Strikingly, even Republicans now favor legal cannabis, by a slim majority of 51%.
While such shifts appear to happen quickly (like the swift decreases in tobacco use and drunk-driving rates), that’s not really the case. They happen very, very slowly, and then all at once. Activists founded the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws 48 years ago, when only about 12% of Americans favored legalization. Seeing change as a sudden phenomenon ignores decades of work.
And much more work remains. Adult use of cannabis remains illegal in 41 states.
In 2017, police arrested about 660,000 people on suspicion of cannabis-related crimes, according to FBI