More Americans support legalizing marijuana than ever before, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
Sixty-four percent of those polled told Gallup they support making the drug legal, according to the poll. Gallup’s first poll on marijuana legalization was taken in 1969 and found only 12 percent of the public supported it. By 2001 it was up to a third of all Americans, and a rising majority have supported legalization since 2013.
The poll also shows a majority of Republicans supporting legalization for the first time ever, at 51 percent — a nine point increase from 2016.
Although marijuana is illegal on the federal level, eight states have passed legislation legalizing the drug for recreational use, and 29 states and Washington D.C. have legalized it for medicinal use.
New marijuana products have sprung up to help curb the opioid crisis and provide an alternative to powerful narcotics. Pharmaceutical companies like Myaderm are developing topical remedies meant to ease withdrawal symptoms through the use of the chemicals THC and CBD. These products are meant to help with muscle tension, anxiety, blood flow, and chronic pain.
Marijuana has been proven to be less physically addictive and has less side effects than drugs like Vicodin and Oxycontin. States that have embraced medical marijuana laws have seen a dramatic decline in prescription opioid abuse compared to states with no medicinal laws on the books.
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