A Majority of Americans Favor Marijuana Legalization, Pew Research Reports

America's passed the halfway mark!

On October 11, Pew Research reported that 57 percent of Americans think that marijuana should be made legal, while 37 percent think it should remain illegal. Just a decade ago, the country polled nearly the opposite way, with 60 percent opposed and 32 percent in favor of legalization.

This news comes as marijuana questions appear on the ballot in nine states — five call for legalizing recreational marijuana, and the others involve medical marijuana — and fifteen counties in Colorado.

Pew conducted the survey from Aug. 23 to Sept. 2 among 1,201 adults.

The Pew asserts that young adults have cased the switch in numbers.  Members of the demographic group of 18- to 35-year-olds are more than twice as likely to support legalization today than they were ten years ago. Seventy-one percent of adults in that age range support legalization, while only 34 were in favor of it in 2006.

Support from millennials and Generation Xers shouldn't be surprising. But what might surprise some is that the majority of baby boomers now also support legalization. In 1990, only 17 percent of boomers agreed with legalization, but today that number has risen to 56 percent. 

The survey also looked at ideological trends and found that Democrats favor legalization by more than two to one. Meanwhile,  Republicans are "internally divided," Pew reports. 

Sixty-two percent of conservative Republicans oppose legalizing marijuana, while 33 percent are in favor.

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Kate McKee Simmons interned at the National Catholic Reporter, was a reporter for the New York Post, and spent a brief stint in Israel learning international reporting before writing for Westword.