Most Americans — 2 out of 3 — say marijuana use should be legal, according to new data from Pew Research Center that builds on a decades-long trend line. The share of those opposed, meanwhile, has plunged 20 percentage points, to 32 percent, in the past decade.
Legalization is supported by 78 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans. It has roughly two-thirds support among every racial, gender and educational group in the U.S., according to the survey.
The data do show one significant demographic fault line, however: age. Legalization is supported by 63 percent of boomers, 65 percent of Gen Xers, and 76 percent of millennials. But among the silent generation— those older than 74 years — support is just 35 percent.
Partisan differences are heavily mediated by age as well. Among the silent generation, for instance, there is a 32-point gap in support between Democrats (53 percent) and Republicans (21 percent). Among millennials, more than 70 percent support legal marijuana, regardless of party affiliation.
In assessing support for marijuana, surveys have typically posed a simple question: “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or should NOT be made legal?” For this survey, however, Pew researchers posed a separate question to suss out whether Americans back recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, both or neither. [Read More @ The Washington Post]