Gallup Poll: Young Liberals Support Legal Pot 300% More than Older Conservatives

Updated: Nov 16

A Gallup Poll conducted from October 3 to 20, 2022 and published on November 15 found that a majority of almost all ideological, religious, and age subgroups in the United States support non-prohibited pot. The headline grabber statistic from this particular surveywhich involved 1,009 interview respondents and involved a four percent margin of erroris the fact that a record-high 68 percent of U.S. adults support marijuana legalization.


The famous polling organization first queried Americans about their feelings on marijuana legalization back in 1969, when only 12 percent of those interviewed supported the idea of eliminating cannabis prohibition.

Not surprisingly, the poll found that those who are younger, more liberal, and less religious are more likely to support cannabis legalization. In fact, only 32 percent of those who identify as conservative and were 65 or older supported the legalization of cannabis.


"Not surprisingly, the poll found that those who are younger, more liberal, and less religious are more likely to support cannabis legalization."

"A statistical analysis that takes into account the influence of multiple respondent characteristics simultaneously confirms that ideology, religiosity, age, and party identification are the most important predictors of marijuana attitudes," reported the survey, which added that ideology "is slightly more influential than the other variables."


The poll controlled for the effects of respondent characteristics like gender, age, and education and found that "political liberals are about three times more likely, on average, than political conservatives to support legalizing marijuana."

Image courtesy Gallup, Inc.


Likewise, "younger adults, Democrats, those who seldom or never attend church, and those without a religious preference are slightly less than 2.5 times more likely to say marijuana should be legal than older adults, Republicans, weekly churchgoers, and those with a religious preference, respectively," reported Gallup. Interestingly, the survey found that education level and region of the country where one resides "do not have meaningful relationships with marijuana attitudes."


"Of significance is the fact that a simple majority (51 percent) of Republicans now support legal marijuana."

It found correlations between particular subgroups of Americans and their likelihood to support legal marijuana. Of those with no religious preference, 89 percent support legalization, while 84 percent of self-identified liberals are in support. Of Democrats, 81 percent support cannabis legalization, while 79 percent of young adults and 78 percent of those who "seldom or never attend religious services" do so.


Groups of Americans whose support "is at least 10 points below the national average" include those "who attend church weekly (46 percent), conservatives (49 percent), Republicans (51 percent), older adults (53 percent) and Hispanic adults (56 percent). Of significance is the fact that a simple majority (51 percent) of Republicans now support legal marijuana.

Image courtesy Gallup, Inc.


The poll concluded that, on average, Americans have "grown much more supportive of legalizing marijuana over the past two decades," but that support levels have not increased in the past three years and may be "leveling off for now."


"Older conservatives are still disinclined to think marijuana use should be legal," summarized the report.

It noted that majorities of "most major subgroups are in favor of legalizing marijuana," but that "there are a few holdhouts," including political conservatives and regular churchgoers. "Older conservatives are still disinclined to think marijuana use should be legal," summarized the report. Regardless of the particular subgroup and its political ideology, younger members were "more inclined than their older counterparts to think cannabis should be legal."


The report made the bold prediction that support for legalizing cannabis "can be expected to continue to grow as newer, likely more pro-marijuana, generations replace older generations in the U.S. population."


View the original poll.


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