Majority of Wyoming Residents Want Adult-Use Weed Legalization, Survey Finds
Six years ago, only 37 percent of Wyoming residents supported legalization. Today, that number has grown to 54 percent.
Published on December 9, 2020

Just over half of all Wyoming residents are down to legalize weed in their home state, according to a new survey conducted by the University of Wyoming.

The university's Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC) polled 614 randomly selected Wyoming residents from every county in the state between October 8th and 29th. The pollsters asked respondents whether they were in favor of allowing adults in Wyoming to legally possess weed for personal use. 

Slightly over half of all respondents (54 percent) said that they supported adult-use legalization. This marks the first time in history that a majority of Wyomingites have expressed their support for legal weed. In 2014, only 37 percent of survey respondents said they supported legalization, but that percentage rose to 41 percent in 2016, and then to 49 percent by 2018. 

As is common for cannabis-related polls, younger respondents were more likely to express their support for cannabis reform than older adults. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of adults aged 25-34 said they supported legalization, followed by 68 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds and 67 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds. 

Interestingly, support dipped below the majority (45 percent) for adults aged 45 to 55, but rose again to 51 percent for the 55- to 64-year-old demographic. Support shrank to 40 percent among 65- to 74-year-olds, and even further to 30 percent among those over 75. Men were also more likely (59 percent) to voice their support for legalization than women (49 percent), a trend also seen in a similar poll from 2018.

A strong majority of respondents (85 percent) also said that they believed that Wyoming should legalize medical marijuana, like most other US states have. As it stands now, Wyoming only allows people with intractable epilepsy to use hemp-derived cannabis extracts, and all other forms of medical pot are illegal. Three-quarters of respondents also said they believed that people should not be sent to jail for minor pot possession, up from 69 percent in 2018.

“As laws regarding the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana change around the US, especially in nearby states, it’s not surprising to see attitudes in Wyoming change as well,” said WYSAC senior research scientist Brian Harnisch, in a statement. “In all bordering states except Idaho, marijuana or medical marijuana has been legalized to some extent or decriminalized.”

Although a majority of Wyomingites are finally on board with legalization, the state still lags behind the national average. Last month, an annual Gallup poll found that 68 percent of all Americans now support federal cannabis legalization, up from 66 percent last year. Wyoming’s support for legalization may also grow further now that neighboring South Dakota has legalized adult-use and medical pot.

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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