Americans Believe Federal Weed Legalization "Inevitable" and "Bipartisan," New Poll Says
Three-quarters of respondents said that they think federal legalization is inevitable, and 81 percent said the feds should keep their hands off states that chose to legalize.
Published on December 16, 2020

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Voters in the four states that legalized adult-use weed this year believe that federal cannabis legalization is “inevitable,” a new poll has found.

Early last month, FM3 Research and Fabrizio, Lee & Associates polled 1,602 residents of Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota — the four states that voted to fully legalize pot this year. This poll, which was conducted on behalf of pro-legalization political group New Approach PAC, asked respondents how they felt about the recent cannabis reforms enacted in their states.

Out of all respondents, 68 percent said that they were in favor of federal cannabis legalization, compared to only 28 percent who opposed the idea. These results are not particularly surprising, given that a Gallup poll from last month also found that 68 percent of Americans support federal legalization, up from 66 percent in 2019. 

But even though only 68 percent of respondents are down with legal weed, 76 percent believe that federal legalization is “inevitable.” And just over two-thirds of respondents said that they believed that federal cannabis reform is a policy that “both liberal and conservative voters can get behind,” Marijuana Moment reports.

The poll found majority support for weed reform in every political party, including 85 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents, and 53 percent of Republicans. In fact, the pollsters report that “a large majority” of those participating in the survey were “young Republicans.” Taken as a whole, voters in these four states “favored Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a combined five points (48 to 43 percent) and are more than twice as likely to identify as conservative (41 percent) as liberal (20 percent).”

Congress has traditionally been behind the times when it comes to supporting weed reform, but lawmakers may finally be catching up to their constituents. This fall, a poll reported that 53 percent of Republicans supported the MORE Act, a bill to end the federal prohibition of cannabis. And last month, the House passed this bill along with a second bill to expand researchers' access to medical cannabis

Interestingly, only 56 percent of those polled said that adult-use legalization was consistent with their values, while 38 percent said legalization was against their personal beliefs. But regardless of these personal preferences, 81 percent said that they believed that the federal government should not interfere with states that have chosen to legalize pot. The poll also reports that 27 percent of voters said their support for legalization has grown over the past few years.

“In sum, public opinion in the four states that legalized marijuana this fall shows a pattern of shifting opinions that bodes well for marijuana policy reform across the country,” the polling firms wrote in a statement, according to Marijuana Moment. “Support for legalization in principle has become broad, strong, and bipartisan—reflecting a steady positive shift in perceptions of voters of all parties over the last few years.”

In all, this new poll clearly indicates that even though many Americans do not personally endorse cannabis use, the vast majority have recognized that the federal government's war against weed has been an abject failure.

Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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