By USA TODAY
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Source:: CNN US News
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General Social Survey
Public support for marijuana legalization surged in 2016, according to data just released from the General Social Survey.
Last year 57 percent of Americans told the survey’s pollsters that they “think the use of marijuana should be legal,” up from 52 percent in 2014.
The numbers from the the General Social Survey — a large nationwide survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research — comport with other national surveys last year, which found support ranging from the upper 50s to low 60s.
But the survey indicates two significant fault lines when it comes to marijuana policy: age and political party. Fully two-thirds of respondents aged 18 to 34 supported legalization in the survey, as well as majorities of those aged 35 to 49, and 50 to 64. But seniors age 65+ stood apart, with only 42 percent supporting legalization.
General Social Survey
On the other hand, support among all age groups has risen by similar amounts in recent years. Back in 2008, for instance, only 40 percent of the youngest respondents, and just over 21 percent of seniors, supported marijuana legalization.
Breaking the numbers down by political affiliation tells a slightly different story. In the early 2000s, opposition to marijuana legalization was more or less a bipartisan issue. Only 29 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of Republicans voiced support for legal weed in 2000.
General Social Surve
Since then, support for legalization among Democrats and Independents has risen much faster than among Republicans. In 2016 over 60 percent of the former two groups supported legal marijuana. Among Republicans support stood at only 40 percent, a …read more
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