New Poll Shows More Americans Are In Favor Of Cannabis Than Ever

Majority of Republicans Now Favor Legalization

Posted by:
christalcann on Thursday Oct 26, 2017

New Poll Shows More Americans Are In Favor Of Cannabis Than Ever


Marijuana Legalization Support at Record Highs from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


The latest Gallup poll shows that more Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis than ever. For the first time in history, a majority of Republicans were also supportive of legalization.


The Gallup poll results, which were released on Wednesday, revealed that 64% of adult respondents believe that cannabis should be legalized. Gallup has been asking if cannabis should be made legal for 50 years now, and the latest results showed the best results they’ve seen since the beginning.

Specifically, Gallup asks: “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” They don’t make the distinction as to whether it’s recreational or medical use of cannabis. Gallup surveyed 1,028 Americans over 18, and found that 51% of them were affiliated with Republicans and supported cannabis legalization – figures that have increased 42% since 2016. More Democrats than ever are also in favor of legalization, which increased to 72% this year from 67%. However, Independents who supported legalization decreased from 70% to 67%.


Gallup also notes that support for legal cannabis is equal to support for gay marriage in the country. “The trajectory of Americans’ views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades. On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64% favor each,” says Gallup in its analysis of the results.


“Marijuana legalization is far more popular than Jeff Sessions or Donald Trump and will survive them both,” according to Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno, the Drug Policy Alliance’s executive director. “Instead of wasting limited law enforcement resources trying to stop successful state-level legalization initiatives, US officials should listen to the clear, bipartisan message the public is sending them, and support federal marijuana reform as well,” she adds.


Rep. Earl Blumenauer says that the results are “extraordinarily important”. Blumenauer has been an advocate of legalization for a long time now, and has proposed several measures that would end the federal government’s ban on cannabis. He also describes current legalization efforts as a case study on how the public have taken the matter in their own hands despite what the federal law says, saying that “this controversy will be over in less than five years.”


Cannabis remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, and is classified as a Schedule 1 drug which is reserved for substances that are considered addictive and have no proven medicinal value. Even so, 8 states as well as the District of Columbia have approved cannabis for recreational use; while 29 states, DC, and US territories Puerto Rico and Guam legalized cannabis for medical purposes, and 17 other states legalized the (limited) use of CBD for medicinal purposes.


Much of the progress of cannabis legalization today we owe to the Obama administration, who discouraged federal prosecutors from acting on them. However, Obama’s policies that prevent this from happening could change because of Sessions, who has long been notorious in the community for his harsh criticism towards cannabis legalization. 


Blumenauer says that the Gallup poll results “highlights the disconnect” between prohibitionist including Sessions and the clear support for more liberal cannabis laws. He adds that the numbers should encourage Congress to “step up and take some critical steps” to fix the gap between state and federal law. He also said that he has the intention of sharing the survey figures with his colleagues in congress. “I’m confident we’re going to make some progress,” Blumenauer says.


Marijuana Majority founder and chairman Tom Angell said it was “politically disastrous” when Sessions broke Trump’s guarantee that state laws on cannabis use were going to be respected. “These new [poll] numbers, and the continuing trend they confirm, show that legal marijuana continues to be way more popular than almost any politician – increasingly so,” Angell says. “That bodes well for efforts to pass cannabis laws in more states in 2018, both on the ballot and through state legislatures.”


NORML political director Justin Strekal said that the polls, combined with the fact that a majority of US states already allow cannabis in one way or another, says that “it makes no sense from a political, fiscal, or moral perspective to maintain federal prohibition of marijuana.”


“It is high time that members of Congress take action to comport federal law with majority public opinion and to end the needless criminalization of marijuana – a policy failure encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, and disproportionately impacts communities of color,” says Strekal.








What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: