A majority of American likely voters, including most Republicans under the age of 55, support legalizing marijuana “in all 50 states,” according to a new poll from a prominent GOP firm.
The survey from the Tarrance Group found that 57 percent of respondents favor nationwide cannabis legalization, including 35 percent who said they “strongly” support the policy change.
That’s slightly lower than other recent polls on national legalization, but that likely reflects the somewhat misleading language of the question put before voters, which suggested that federal-level reform “would legalize it in all 50 states,” even though most proposals that have actually been floated in Congress would let individual states decide cannabis policies for themselves while ending the federal policy of criminalization.
In any case, that framing also makes the overall majority support all the more notable. The survey found that nearly half of Republicans (48 percent) back that proposal, but a stronger majority of GOP likely voters under age 55 (55 percent) said they favor the ambitious policy change.
Democrats were generally the most supportive of the reform, with 67 percent of voters in the party saying they back broad legalization. Seventy-four percent of Democrats under 55 said the same.
Among independents, 56 percent of likely voters approve of nationwide legalization, while 63 percent of independents under 55 favor the reform.
“The results indicate that a generational shift on cannabis is well underway, and a bipartisan majority is rapidly emerging in favor of federal legalization,” Josh Glasstetter, a spokesperson for the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC), told Marijuana Moment.
“Younger voters will be highly sought-after in this year’s election, and they strongly support legalization,” he said. “Candidates should take note.”
Overall, 67 percent of likely voters 18-44 say they favor a nationwide legalization model, compared to 57 percent of people 45-64 and 47 percent of those 65+.
Supporters of the incumbent President Joe Biden also strongly support the reform, at 68 percent, while 48 percent of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s backers say the same. Fifty percent of undecided voters also support the policy change.
The survey also found that 55 percent of people who the pollster defined as “double-haters” who hold negative views of both Biden and Trump are in favor of legalizing cannabis across the board.
Without the language around legalizing in all 50 states, a Gallup poll from late last year found that support for ending federal marijuana prohibition has reached a record high nationally, with seven in 10 Americans—including a sizable majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents—backing the reform.
The new Tarrance poll, meanwhile, involved interviews with 1,000 likely voters from January 3-4, with a 3.1 percentage point margin of error.
This comes on the heels of a separate survey from Lake Research Partners that was commissioned by the Coalition for Cannabis Scheduling Reform (CCSR), finding that Biden stands to make significant political gains if marijuana is rescheduled under his administrative directive.
It found that voters’ impression of the president jumped a net 11 points after hearing about the implications of the rescheduling review that the president initiated—and that includes an 11-point favorability swing among young voters 18-25 who will be critical to his reelection bid.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recommended the rescheduling action upon completion of a scientific review last year, but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reserves “final authority” in the matter.
For what it’s worth, about one-third of marijuana consumers say they would go back to the illicit market if cannabis was rescheduled and only made legally available as a Food and Drug Administration- (FDA) approved prescription drug, according to another recent poll.
Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.
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