A record-high 50 percent of Americans say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46 percent last year, says the Gallup polling organization. Forty-six percent say marijuana use should remain illegal. When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana in 1969, 12 percent favored it, with 84 percent were opposed. Support remained in the mid-20s from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but has crept up since, passing 30 percent in 2000 and 40 percent in 2009
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009 found that “16.7 million Americans 12 or older used marijuana at least once in the month before being surveyed, an increase over the rates reported in all years between 2002 and 2008. Gallup last year found that 70 percernt favored making it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana to reduce pain and suffering.