Over 75% of Americans Want the Feds to Butt Out of State Sanctioned Legal Weed, Says New Survey
The SurveyUSA report suggests that American opinions on cannabis are changing fast, even while Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions are stuck squarely in the past.
Published on June 23, 2017


United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems hell-bent on ending the country’s legal weed industry and bringing back the full force of America’s war on drugs. The nation’s top cop has already tried to remove sentencing leniencies put in place since under Obama’s administration, and has made a number of threats towards states with legal weed legislation. However, if Ol’ Jefferson, or his Twitter-obsessed boss, would just stop and listen to the people they represent, he would see a strikingly different set of American ideals.

According to a new report commissioned by cannabis reform group Marijuana Majority and compiled by SurveyUSA, a large majority of Americans across all political backgrounds, age ranges, racial groups and socio-economic status support states’ rights to legalize and regulate cannabis without federal interference.

The survey, conducted in mid-January with 1,500 phone respondents, found that 78% of those surveyed supported local government’s ability to “enact their own marijuana laws without interference from the federal government.”

Lawmakers in legal weed states around the country have already voiced their displeasure with Sessions’ anti-cannabis rhetoric, and the survey is yet another example of the American public’s changing mentality.

“It’s clear that Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration would face a huge backlash from across the political spectrum if they broke the president’s campaign pledge to respect state marijuana policies and started arresting consumers and providers who are following local law,” Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, the organization behind the new survey, said.  

In addition to support for states’ rights, the survey found that Americans are increasingly open to cannabis use by journalists and professional athletes, with exactly half of the survey respondents voicing displeasure with major media outlets punishing employees for cannabis use. 

That same sentiment is shared for professional athletes and cannabis use, with more respondents supporting legal weed use by pro ballers than the current policies, which routinely implement marijuana drug testing and almost always punish players with suspension for repeated use, even in states where local laws allow recreational or medical marijuana. 

No matter how ridiculous Sessions’ claims about cannabis are, he doesn’t seem to be changing the mind of an American public that is finally getting fed up with cannabis prohibition. 

“The more the attorney general threatens to ramp up federal enforcement,” Angell said, adding “the more public opinion seems to harden against his outdated ‘Reefer Madness’ mindset.”


Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
Share this article with your friends!