WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – For the first time in history, a clear majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana a new poll shows.
Gallup found that 58 percent of Americans think that marijuana should be legalized. In 1969, when the question was first asked, only 12 percent were in favor of legalization.
The survey found that more Democrats support the legalization than Republicans and Independents and young adults are more likely to agree with it as well. Sixty-seven percent of Americans ages 18-29 years said that it should be legal.
A contributing factor for overall support might be that Colorado and Washington legalized the recreational use of the drug becoming the first states to do so.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced in August that the Justice Department would not challenge Colorado’s and Washington’s referendums, showing a slight flexibility on the issue, even though the federal government is in opposition of the issue.
Also, the poll found that 38 percent of Americans admitted to having tried marijuana, which may be a factor as well.
The next state that could possibly follow in Washington’s and Colorado’s steps is California. Just last week California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said that weed should be legalized in the state and a statewide referendum in 2014 to legalize it is likely to be introduced.