Marijuana legalization now enjoys majority support in the U.S. -- 52 percent of Americans support legalization, 42 percent oppose it, and 7 percent remain undecided, according to the latest General Social Survey.

But most changes to marijuana law aren't happening at the federal level, they're happening in the states. In some, possession and use remains a crime. Other states have decriminalized possession of small amounts, 24 have legalized marijuana for medical use, and 4 states plus Washington, D.C., have gone fully legal. There are as many shades of grey (or green) between these policies as there are states.

So it's useful to have some sense of public attitudes toward marijuana at the state level, especially considering marijuana will be on the ballot in many states in 2016. No polling outlet that I'm aware of has released comprehensive state-level results for attitudes toward marijuana legalization. But the question has been asked in most states by a variety of polling firms in recent years, and I thought it might be useful to compile all those results in once place. So here they are.


Since late 2012, marijuana legalization questions have been asked in at least 38 states. In 25 of those states, majorities supported legalization. In another 5 states, there wasn't majority support for or opposition against legalization -- results were very close, in other words. And in 8 states, majorities opposed legalization.

Methodology is important here. Most of these state results shouldn't be directly compared to each other, which is why I'm simply sorting states into qualitative categories rather than doing a numeric comparison of support. The reason is that question wording across these surveys varies considerably, and we know that question wording has a strong effect on marijuana survey results.

But each of the surveys I included were scientifically conducted by credible polling firms. They offer representative samples of the populations of their respective states. They all ask about support for the full legalization of marijuana -- not just support for medical marijuana, or for decriminalization, but for legalizing recreational use. I've included all the detailed information, including question wording, survey firm, sample size, survey date, and a link to the raw results in a table below, so you can check it out for yourself. For Alaska, D.C. and Oregon, I used the actual results of last fall's ballot initiatives, since those represent the most recent (and most accurate!) barometer of support in those states.

According to Ballotpedia, a legislation-tracking website, legalization initiatives may appear on the ballot in 11 states in 2016, as well as Ohio this year. Among those 12 states, the latest survey results show majority support for legalization in six -- Arizona, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio. In two states -- Maine and Missouri -- there isn't a majority for or against legalization. And in four states -- Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana and Wyoming -- state-level polling hasn't been done.

It's important to remember that majority support in a state now doesn't equal sure-fire victory. Some of these measures may not even quality for the ballot. In other cases, voters may sour on the details of specific proposals as they learn more about them. And in just about all of these cases, the public is closely divided between support on opposition.

Even given these caveats, however, it's useful to get an assessment of the lay of the land as we head in to 2016. The full list of state polls is below. Did I miss anything? Let me know.

State Legalization support (%) Question wording Source and link Sample size Population surveyed Date
Alabama --
Alaska 53 Ballot measure: "This bill would tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana in Alaska. The bill would make the use of marijuana legal for persons 21 years of age or older. The bill would allow a person to possess, use, show, buy, transport, or grow set amounts of marijuana, with the growing subject to certain restrictions." Ballot measure all voters Nov-14
Arizona 53 “Do you favor or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use?”(% who favor) Behavior Research Center's Rocky Mountain Poll 701 voters May-15
Arkansas --
California 54 “Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not?"(% saying "Yes, legal") Public Policy Institute of California 1706 adults May-15
Colorado 62 "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in {{STATE}} to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "support") Quinnipiac University Poll 894 voters Apr-15
Connecticut 63 "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in Connecticut to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "support") Quinnipiac University Poll 1235 voters Mar-15
DC 70 Ballot measure: "Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014" Ballot measure all voters Nov-14
Delaware 56 "Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?" University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication 902 adults Sep-14
Florida 55 "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in {{STATE}} to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "support") Quinnipiac University Poll 1087 voters Apr-15
Georgia 49 "Should the general assembly in Georgia legalize the use of marijuana by adults, or not?" (% saying "yes") Atlanta Journal-Constitution 905 adults Jan-15
Hawaii 66 "What if Hawaii decided to legalize the use of marijuana by adults and regulated its sale and collected tax money from the sale? … yes, to tax and regulate; or no, to leave marijuana use by afdults a crim?" (percent saying "yes") Q-mark research 400 voters Jan-14
Idaho 31 "Do you support or oppose the legalization of marijuana in Idaho?" (% who "strongly" or "somewhat" support) Idaho Politics Weekly 605 adults Jan-15
Illinois --
Indiana 52 "Marijuana use is currently illegal in Indiana. Would you favor or oppose a change in the law that makes marijuana a regulated substance much like the way we regulate the use of alcohol and tobacco products?" (% saying "favor") Bowen Center for Public ffairs 600 adults Oct-13
Iowa 47 "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in {{STATE}} to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "support") Quinnipiac University Poll 948 voters Apr-15
Kansas --
Kentucky 38 "Do you favor or oppose the Commonwealth of Kentucky allowing residents to buy and use marijuana in the following situations?" (percent favoring "under any circumstances") Kentucky Health Issues Poll 1,680 adults Oct-12
Louisiana 45 "Would you favor or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "favor") Louisiana State University 514 adults Jan-15
Maine 48 "Do you think marijuana usage should be legal or illegal in Maine?" (% saying "legal") Public Policy Polling 953 adults Aug-13
Maryland 52 "In general, do you support or oppose making the use of marijuana legal in Maryland?" (% saying "support" or "strongly support") Goucher Poll 619 adults Feb-15
Massachusetts 53 "In general, do you favor or oppose the legalization of marijuana? " (% saying "favor") Suffolk University/Boston Herald 600 likely voters Feb-14
Michigan 51 "Would you support or oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use if it was regulated and taxed like alcohol?" (% saying "strongly" or "somewhat" support) Marketing Research Group 600 likely voters Apr-15
Minnesota 46 "Do you think marijuana should be made legal or not?" (% saying "yes") St. Cloud State University Survey 626 adults Oct-13
Mississippi --
Missouri 45 Full text of proposed ballot measure to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana (percent supporting ballot measure) Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research 500 likely voters Feb-14
Montana --
Nebraska --
Nevada 54 "Would you support or oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use if it was regulated and taxed like alcohol?" (% saying "strongly" or "somewhat" support) Moore Information 500 voters Sep-13
New Hampshire 54 "Do you support or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use in New Hampshire?" (% saying "strongly" or "somewhat" support) The WMUR Granite State Poll 567 adults May-15
New Jersey 58 "Thinking about the issue in general, to what extent do you personally support or oppose legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over? Do you strongly support it, somewhat support it, somewhat oppose it, or strongly oppose it?" Rutgers-Eagleton Poll 860 adults Apr-15
New Mexico 44 “Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults in New Mexico, with a tax and regulation system, similar to Colorado?”(% saying "support") Albuquerque Journal poll 500 likely voters Sep-14
New York 51 "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in New York State to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "support") Quinnipiac University Poll 1129 voters Apr-14
North Carolina 37 "Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?" Public Policy Polling 845 voters Jan-15
North Dakota --
Ohio 52 "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in {{STATE}} to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "support") Quinnipiac University Poll 1077 voters Apr-15
Oklahoma --
Oregon 56 A ballot initiative that "Allows possession, manufacture, sale of marijuana by/to adults, subject to state licensing, regulation, taxation" Ballot initiative all voters Nov-14
Pennsylvania 51 "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in {{STATE}} to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "support") Quinnipiac University Poll 1036 voters Apr-15
Rhode Island 57 "Since 2012, four states - Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon - have changed their laws to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol for legal use by adults who are 21 and older. Would you support or oppose changing Rhode Island law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol?" (% saying "support") Public Policy Polling 763 voters Apr-15
South Carolina --
South Dakota --
Tennessee 32 "Which comes closer to your view about the use of marijuana by adults? It should be legal for personal use, it should be legal only for medicinal use, or it should not be legal?" (% saying it should be legal for personal use) Vanderbilt University 1505 adults May-14
Texas 58 "The voters in Colorado and Washington changed their laws to allow marijuana to be regulated similarly to alcohol for adults age 21 and older. Would you support or oppose changing Texas law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, where stores would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older?" (% who "strongly" or "somewhat" support) Public Policy Polling 860 voters Sep-13
Utah --
Vermont 54 "Do you support or oppose passing a similar law (to legalize recreational marijuana) in Vermont to legalize and regulate marijunana for recreational use?" (% saying "support") Castleton Polling Institute 700 adults Feb-15
Virginia 54 "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in {{STATE}} to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?" (% saying "support") Quinnipiac University Poll 961 voters Apr-15
Washington 56 "In general, do you think marijuana usage should be legal or illegal?" (% saying "legal") Public Policy Polling 879 voters May-15
West Virginia 46 "Two states -- Colorado and Washington -- recently changed their laws to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, for legal use by adults age 21 and older. Would you support or oppose changing West Virginia law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, so stores would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older?" (% who support) Public Policy Polling 614 voters Dec-13
Wisconsin 46 "Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?" (% saying "yes") Marquette Law School Survey 800 voters Sep-14
Wyoming

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post contained an incorrect result for Louisiana. The percentage of Louisiana residents who favor marijuana legalization is 45 percent.