Nearly two-thirds of all Americans still support federal adult-use cannabis legalization, according to two new national polls.
A new Marist poll, conducted last week in collaboration with NPR and PBS, asked 1,744 Americans whether they thought legalizing weed was a good idea or not. The pollsters report that 62 percent of respondents were down for ending federal cannabis prohibition, while 33 percent said it was a bad idea. Not surprisingly, a greater percentage of Democrats (76 percent) supported legalization than Republicans (44 percent).
Opposition to legal weed was stronger among Trump supporters than among Republicans in general. 55 percent of those who voted for Trump in 2016 said they were opposed to legalization, versus 40 percent in favor. Pollsters also found that majority support for legalization existed in every age group, with the exception of the Silent Generation (people age 73 or older).
A second poll, also conducted last week, confirms these findings. In a survey of 1,000 Americans, Fox News reports that 63 percent were in favor of adult-use legalization, with 34 percent opposed. Unlike Marist, Fox did not break down its results by demographic, however. This marks a small, but notable increase in support from last year, when Fox found that 59 percent of all respondents advocated for adult-use.
Several other polls conducted over the past two years have shown similar results. Another Marist poll from this summer found 63 percent support, with respondents ranking legal weed a higher priority than gun control, free college tuition, or environmental protections. A Gallup poll conducted this fall reported 66 percent support for legalization, Pew Research Center found 62 percent support last fall, and the Center for American Progress found 70 percent support last summer.
“This holiday season, Americans are more likely than ever to agree in favor of legalizing marijuana when the topic comes up at the dinner table,” said Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, to Marijuana Moment. “With a public majority mandate, now is our time to demand ending prohibition in advance of the 2020 elections.”
Cannabis legalization initiatives have been known to draw greater numbers of liberal voters to the polls, so it comes as no surprise that almost every Democratic presidential candidate is advocating for legalization. Unfortunately, leading candidate Joe Biden has been reticent to fully embrace cannabis reform, but polls like these should remind any political candidate that support for legalization is a policy that most Americans are willing to vote for.