warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Marijuana Support At Record High

Arash Zandi |
October 22, 2013 | 4:35 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Signage of a medical marijuana dispensary (Wikimedia Commons)
Signage of a medical marijuana dispensary (Wikimedia Commons)
For the first time ever, more than half of Americans believe marijuana usage should be legalized, according to a Gallup poll that was released on Tuesday. 

Fifty-eight percent of Americans now support legalizing weed. This is an increase of eight percentage points from 50 percent back in 2011, and a 10 point increase from November 2012, when Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Art Swift, Gallup’s managing editor, wrote, “With Americans' support for legalization quadrupling since 1969, and localities on the East Coast such as Portland, Maine, considering a symbolic referendum to legalize marijuana, it is clear that interest in this drug and these issues will remain elevated in the foreseeable future.”

Much of the latest backing for legalization is from independent voters with 62 percent of them supporting it, which was up from 50 percent, last November.

READ MORE: Legalize Marijuana, CA Doctors Say

USC students echoed the poll's findings. 

“I think it’s silly that it’s even up for debate," said Swini Tummala, 19, a USC sophomore majoring in international relations. "Weed is much safer than alcohol.”

“Marijuana legalization is not necessarily a bad thing because you can regulate it,” said Jake Lehman, an 18-year-old freshman economics major.

Adam Syed, a 20-year-old USC junior, said marijuana would "benefit the country economically, and California especially needs it as it would help leverage our taxes.”

So far, marijuana has been legalized for medical use in 20 states and in Washington, D.C. It is legalized for recreational use in two states, Colorado and Washington state.

See the Gallup poll here.

Reach Arash Zandi here. Follow him on Twitter here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.