Illinois this month became the latest U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana. The legislation signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker permits recreational use of the drug for adults 21 and older and allows for the expungement of minor marijuana-related convictions. Illinois had previously legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
Nationwide, public support for cannabis legalization has steadily grown in recent years. As support has risen, a growing number of states have legalized or decriminalized the drug. Here are five facts about Americans and marijuana:
1. A majority of Americans support marijuana legalization. About six-in-ten Americans (62%) say the use of marijuana should be legalized, according to a fall 2018 survey. Public opinion on marijuana legalization was essentially the opposite nearly two decades ago: In 2000, a similar majority (63%) said the use of marijuana should be illegal.
2. Views of marijuana legalization differ by generation and political party, though support has increased across demographic groups over time. Majorities of Millennials (74%), Gen Xers (63%) and Baby Boomers (54%) say the use of marijuana should be legal, up sharply from earlier years. And while a smaller share of the Silent Generation (39%) currently favors legalization, support among these Americans has also increased. [Read More @ Pew Research]