Washington, DC: A majority of Americans age 65 and under favor legalizing the personal possession of cannabis, according to a nationwide poll of 1,023 adults commissioned by The Washington Post and ABC News.
Among respondents between the ages of 18 and 29, 55 percent favored legalization (versus 45 percent opposed). Among those ages 30 to 49, 51 percent approved of legalizing cannabis (versus 47 percent opposed). Of those respondents between the ages of 50 and 64, 52 percent supported legalization (versus 47 percent opposed).
By contrast, only 30 percent of those surveyed age 65 or older said that they believed that small amounts of cannabis ought to be legal. Sixty-seven percent of those age 65 and older opposed legalization.
Overall, the survey reported that 48 percent of respondents backed legalization while 50 percent opposed the idea.
Commenting on the poll results, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “The generational nature of these poll results indicates that overall public support for ending cannabis prohibition will only grow greater in the years ahead. Those political officials who continue to support the criminalization of cannabis and cannabis consumers are, in the not so distant future, going to find themselves on the wrong side of history.”
Gender and ethnicity also influenced one’s support for legalization, the poll found. Men were more likely than women (by a margin of seven percent) to endorse legalizing cannabis, while Hispanics were largely unsupportive of the idea – with 65 percent opposing legalization.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll was conducted November 7 to 11 among a random national sample of 1,023 adults, using conventional and cellular phones. The survey results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Separate nationwide polls by Gallup and others have previously reported greater public support in favor of legalizing and regulating cannabis. Most recently, an October 2012 national poll conducted by Huffington Post and YouGov reported that 59 percent of Americans endorsed legalizing marijuana.