Marijuana Milestone: Most Favor Legalization
In Gallup poll, 58% of Americans say pot should be legal
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2013 3:44 PM CDT
Marijuana plants at a cooperative in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – Congratulations, advocates of legal marijuana: You are now mainstream America. The latest poll from Gallup says that 58% of Americans favor legalization, the first time a clear majority has backed the idea. The drip-drip-drip of news stories about victories in states such as Colorado and Washington seems to have helped shift opinion, says Gallup, particularly among people who consider themselves political independents.

A year ago, 50% in that camp favored legalization, but the figure has now jumped to 62%. Democrats (65%) and Republicans (35%) remained pretty much unchanged. Business Insider finds the 58% rating remarkable "because, these days, it's hard to find much of anything that 58% of Americans like." Josh Barro went through other Gallup polls this year and found only two things with a higher percentage of support: universal background checks for guns (83%) and legal sex for gay couples (64%).