More Americans than ever before favor outright marijuana legalization

Marijuana legalization in the United States is closer than ever to being a reality: 60% of Americans now support it.

That's according to the latest Gallup Poll data, which asked over 1,000 respondents, "Should marijuana use be made legal, or not?" The data shows increases in support for marijuana legalization across the board — across age, race, gender, and political demographics. And it's a huge overall increase: from 35% of adults in favor of legalization in 2005, to 60% in 2016.

Pew Research conducted a similar poll earlier in 2016, which came to similar results: 57% of Americans over 18 favor outright marijuana legalization.

Over half of the US has already legalized some form of marijuana use — recreation, medicinal, or both. Colorado and Washington have legalized the use and sale of marijuana for recreational use; both states are regulating the production, sales, and consumption of marijuana along the same lines as alcohol.

Marijuana edibles sold in Colorado and Oregon
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Marijuana edibles sold in Colorado and Oregon
Edibles are displayed at Shango Cannabis shop on first day of legal recreational marijuana sales beginning at midnight in Portland, Oregon October 1, 2015. The sale of marijuana for recreational use began in Oregon on October 1, 2015 as it joined Washington state and Colorado in allowing the sale of a drug that remains illegal under U.S. federal law. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

And on November 8, marijuana legalization is on the ballot in nine states. In five of those states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada — voters are choosing whether or not to legalize marijuana in the same way Colorado and Washington already have. It's looking likely that the initiatives will pass in at least three, if not four, of the five states.

Though neither presidential candidate supports legalization, the political lines are clear: Self-identifying Democrats and Independents are around 70% in favor, while Republicans are still against. Just 42% of respondents who identify as Republican are in favor of marijuana legalization.

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