PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 20 (UPI) — Levels of U.S. support for legalizing marijuana are continuing a growth pattern begun in 2000, a Gallup Poll indicated Tuesday.
After many years of hovering around 25 percent in favor of legalizing pot, support among U.S. residents jumped to 31 percent in 2000 and now has reached 44 percent in the most recent poll, while 54 percent are opposed, Gallup said.
The pollsters said that results were virtually the same on the question of whether marijuana should be legalized as way of raising revenue for state governments, with 42 percent saying they are in favor and 56 percent opposed.
On that question, support was markedly higher among residents of the U.S. West — where an outright majority favor the proposal — than in the South and Midwest, while the views of Eastern residents fell about in the middle.
Gallup said that if support levels for legalizing marijuana continue on the same trajectory, the majority of Americans could favor legalization of the drug in as little as four years.
The poll results were based on telephone interviews with 1,013 national adults conducted Oct. 1-4. Its margin of sampling error was set at 4 percentage points.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International