New Polls Show Continued Majority Support for Federal Cannabis Legalization


A new group of polls indicates that Americans are increasingly in favor of legalizing cannabis.

A Marist Poll, conducted in partnership with NPR and PBS NewsHour earlier this month, found that 62% of adults believe federal marijuana legalization is a “good idea.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Marist Poll also found that 76% of democrats and democrat-leaning independents support federal legalization, while 44% of republicans and republican-leaning independents think legal cannabis would be a “good idea.”

According to Marist, 1,744 randomly-selected U.S. adults (18+) were contacted by phone and interviewed for the poll.

Meanwhile, a new Fox News survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted between December 8-11, also found that 63% favored the national legalization of cannabis for recreational use. When Fox News last conducted the survey in January of 2018, only 59% of those questioned supported the federal legalization of cannabis. At the beginning of the decade, only 42% of Americans were in favor of legal marijuana.

Justin Strekal, the political director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), commented on the results in a blog post and called for the end of a national cannabis prohibition.

“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,” he said. “With a public majority mandate, now is our time to demand ending prohibition in advance of the 2020 elections.”

Elsewhere, 75% of New Mexico residents support the legalization of cannabis at the state level, according to the results of a state-funded poll released last week.

A cannabis legalization working group established by New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham earlier this year commissioned the survey, which was conducted between November 26 – December 2 by the Change Research.

According to a press release, legalization in New Mexico would create 11,000 new jobs statewide. The group is currently working on legislation to be filed next year.

“One of the strongest reasons to support legalization is the economic impact for struggling farmers, small family businesses and millennial entrepreneurs,” said Pat Davis, Albuquerque City Councilor and head of the working group.

Currently, eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Meanwhile, 33 states have legalized medical cannabis sales and 47 states have reformed cannabis laws.

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center found that 67% of Americans believe the use of marijuana should be legal. That figure is consistent with similar findings from Gallup and BDS Analytics. In October, Gallup announced that 66% of U.S. adults were in favor of legalizing cannabis. For its part, BDS Analytics said 80% of U.S. adults believe there should be some form of legalization.

Tags: Data, Polling

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