Changing America

2 in 3 support legalizing marijuana: survey

Polls show more and more Americans are approving of recreational marijuana use.

Story at a glance

  • Recreational marijuana use may have reached an all-time high among U.S. adults

  • About 69 percent of Americans approve of President Biden’s decision to pardon federal charges for simple pot possession.

  • Marijuana legalization for recreational use is on the ballot in five states this year

Two in 3 Americans support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, according to a new Monmouth University survey.

About 68 percent of Americans support legalizing at least a small amount of the drug for personal use, including 76 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents and 52 percent of Republicans.

The poll also found that President Biden’s decision this month to pardon all those convicted federally of simple marijuana possession was met with approval by 69 percent of Americans.

Patrick Murray, the director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said, “Support for marijuana legalization has been increasing consistently over the past twenty years” across various polls.

“Biden’s action is in line with how the vast majority of Americans feel about this issue,” Murray said in a statement.

Pot legalization for recreational use is on the ballot in five states this year: Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Across the U.S., 37 states have legalized the drug for medicinal use and another 19 states for recreational use. Washington, D.C., has legalized both recreational and medicinal marijuana use.

Pot use is also becoming more prevalent and normalized in the country, with 49 percent of all U.S. adults reporting in 2021 they have reported using the drug at least once in their lifetime.

In 1969, that number was just 4 percent.

The Monmouth survey was conducted Oct. 13 to Oct. 17 among 808 U.S. adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.