A new poll of millennials by the Harvard University Institute of Politics which asks about marijuana has gotten some media attention, so I thought I should stress what an extreme outlier it is compared with all other available national polling on the issue.
According to the Harvard poll, only 44 percent of 18-29 year olds support marijuana legalization, while 34 percent oppose legalization and an additional 22 percent are unsure. If that sounds unreasonably and unbelievably low to you, it should.
By comparison most other national polls found support for legalization among young Americans to be over 60 percent as you can see in the chart. All these other polls found relatively few young people undecided on the issue while the Harvard poll has a very large number of “unsure.”
It is not just national polling which confirms young people strongly support legalization, there is data from real elections. The exit polls from the 2012 legalization ballot initiatives in Washington and Colorado show a super majority of young voters backed marijuana legalization.
Basically, all other available information indicates this Harvard poll is not accurately capturing young people’s opinions about marijuana legalization.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy