A survey by the Gallup organization found 44 percent of Americans in favor of making marijuana legal and 54 percent opposed. U.S. public support for legalizing marijuana remained in the 25 percent range from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but acceptance jumped to 31 percent in 2000 and has continued to grow throughout this decade.
Public opinion is virtually the same on a question that relates to a public policy debate in California — whether marijuana should be legalized and taxed as a way of raising revenue for state governments. Just over 4 in 10 Americans (42 percent) say they would favor this in their own state; 56 perecent are opposed. Support is markedly higher among residents of the West — where a majority favors the proposal — than in the South and Midwest. The views of Eastern residents fall about in the middle.