A solid majority of American voters think marijuana should be legal according to new Public Policy Polling.  The recent poll found that 58 percent of voters think marijuana should be legal, while 39 percent think it should remain illegal. Most of those who oppose marijuana legalization feel strongly that it should remain illegal, while support for legalization is fairly evenly split between those who feel strongly about it and those who don’t. The poll also found that 50 percent of voters think marijuana will be legal in the United States within the next 10 years, while only 37 percent think it will not be legal.

Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly believe marijuana should be legalized, but a majority of Republicans oppose the policy change. There is also a significant generational divide when it comes to opinions about legalization. Voters under thirty are most likely to feel strongly that marijuana should be legal while senior citizens tend to feel strongly that it should remain illegal. Interestingly, young voters are actually the most pessimistic about legalization future. The poll found 52 percent think it will not be fully legalized in the next ten years, while 48 percent think it will. On the other hand, 51 percent of voters over the age of 65 think legalization will happen in the next decade, while just 32 percent think it won’t.

While this poll shows some of the highest levels of support for marijuana legalization of any recent national survey, it should be noted that PPP’s polling on marijuana legalization initiatives has proven to be remarkably accurate in the past two election cycles. In 2010, PPP very accurately predicted the overall yes vote for Proposition 19 in California. Similarly, PPP’s final polling in Colorado and Washington State this cycle very closely matched the final results.

The full poll results can be found at the Marijuana Policy Project Blog.

Photo by boodoo under Creative Commons license.