Public support for marijuana legalization has surged in Washington state in the years following the enactment of legislation permitting the commercial production and retail sale of the plant, according to survey data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Fifty-five percent of voters approved the voter-initiated measure in 2012.
Investigators with the Public Health Institute in California assessed survey data from a geographically representative sample of those ages 18 and older. Survey data was collected every six months between January 2014 and April 2016 in order to assess support trends over time.
Authors reported that respondents’ support for legalization increased from 64 percent to 78 percent over this time period. Public support grew among those in every age group.
National polls similarly show an increase in public support for marijuana legalization following the enactment of such laws in various states.
An abstract of the study, “Support for marijuana legalization in the US state of Washington has continued to increase through 2016,” appears online here.
by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director