Last week, Cannabis Now Magazine reported on a CBS poll which showed Americans were evenly for and against marijuana legalization, at 47 percent each. Then, on December 5, Quinnipiac University released new poll results that tell a different story: that the majority of Americans do support legalization, at 51 percent.
This is the first national poll Quinnipiac University has conducted that included the question “Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?” so the ability to compare these results with others to study any kind of trend is greatly hampered. The results can, however, be compared to the recent CBS poll, conducted less than half a month prior to the Quinnipiac poll (conducted from November 28 to December 3). The total amount of support for legalization shown in the Quinnipiac poll is four percent greater than the CBS poll, 51 percent versus 47 percent.
In October 2011, a CBS poll showed 51 percent of Americans opposed legalization, exactly opposite to the Quinnipiac poll from this week. The Quinnipiac University poll shows significant disparities between gender and age groups in terms of support for legalization. Men are in favor of legalization 59 percent -39 percent, while women actually oppose it 52 percent – 44 percent. White voters are split at 50 percent for legalization while black voters support it at 57 percent.
The greatest polling differences are divided by age group. Unsurprisingly, voters 18 to 29 years old support legalization by over two thirds at 67 percent (29 percent are opposed), while the oldest age group at 65 years and over opposes legalization 56 percent – 35 percent. Voters 30 to 44 years old support legalization by almost two thirds at 58 percent (39 percent oppose) and voters 45 to 64 years old are split with 48 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing.
“This is the first time Quinnipiac University asked this question in its national poll so there is no comparison from earlier years. It seems likely, however, that given the better than 2-1 majority among younger voters, legalization is just a matter of time,” Peter A. Brown said, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Our own unofficial poll on Facebook has an overwhelming legalization majority, and we’re still counting! Cast your vote here: http://ow.ly/g3t6M.