Gallup, an American research company famous for polling, found that 58 percent of Americans want to see cannabis legalized in its 2015 national poll. This marks a 10-point increase since 2012, and a nearly twofold increase since 2000, with the latter surge marking the largest proportional gain of any 15-year period. By comparison, when the pollsters first asked this question in 1969, only 12 percent favored legalization. Among the many contributing factors to the upswing, the impact of full legalization in states like Colorado gives the impression that the benefits of ending prohibition overwhelmingly outweigh the potential risks.
Who are the people still opposed? According to Gallup, the divide largely lines up according to age and political party identification. Democrats, independents and younger Americans are much more likely to support cannabis legalization, while Republicans and older Americans are more likely to oppose it. Still, in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic, 71 percent of respondents support legalization, and many of them are young Republicans. Likewise, support among senior citizens has increased ninefold since 1969.