Public opinion of cannabis has shifted rapidly over the past five years; since Coloradans voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2012, seven other states and Washington, D.C., have also voted to legalize cannabis for adult use. And the rest of the country apparently approves, according to a new Gallup poll that shows Americans favor legalization at a higher rate than ever before.
The survey asked more than 1,000 people around the country if marijuana use should be legal or not; 64 percent approved of legalization, 34 percent opposed it, and 2 percent had no opinion. This is the highest approval rating marijuana legalization has ever reached in a Gallup poll. Gallup's previous poll, in 2016, saw a 60 percent approval rating, and a poll whose results were released in August 2017 by Quinnipiac University reached 61 percent approval.
Although cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, changing its Schedule I status with the Drug Enforcement Administration and other pot-related proposals have been introduced more and more frequently in Congress. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker's Marijuana Justice Act, which would de-schedule cannabis and legalize it federally, is probably the most bold.