For the first time since the General Social Survey first asked the question in 1975, a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana. This was one of the findings from the 2014 General Social Survey which has been measuring trends in American opinion and behavior since 1972.
The survey, which is conducted by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, aggregates long-running and wide-ranging questions about a vast array of issues to the public. The 2014 survey data was recently released, and an analysis of its results was conducted by the General Social Survey and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
52% of Americans now believe that marijuana should be legalized, while 42% think it should remain illegal. Support for marijuana legalization has increased since 2012, when only 43% stated that they were in favor. In 1990, only 16% supported legalizing marijuana.
The survey also found that majorities of blacks and whites were found to support the legalization of marijuana, whereas only 38% of hispanics were in favor of legalization.
People under the age 35 were the most likely to say marijuana should be legal in the U.S.