For the first time, a clear majority of Americans say they favor legalizing marijuana, as recreational and medical use of the drug gains acceptance across the nation, says a new Gallup survey reported by Reuters. It found that 58 percent favored marijuana legalization, up from 50 percent two years ago. When Gallup first asked the question in 1969, only 12 percent favored allowing the drug.
Washington state and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational adult use by approving ballot measures lasts year. Some 20 states and the District of Columbia allow pot to be used for medical purposes. The only age group clearly against legalization were those age 65 and over, where 53 percent were opposed. Gallup said the shift could be attributed to changing social mores and growing social acceptance of marijuana. The increasing use of medical marijuana as a socially acceptable way to alleviate symptoms of diseases and mitigate side effects of chemotherapy may have contributed.