Poll: National Support Grows for Marijuana Legalization
A new poll from YouGov shows that 52% of Americans support legalizing marijuana while just 34% oppose it.
The poll conducted in December 2015 shows a 4% rise from last spring.
Surprisingly, even those in the survey against ending prohibition think we are spending too much money on enforcement.
The poll of 1000 people showed broad support across geographic regions, income, age and gender. Those age 65 and up still favor criminal policies, as do those who self-identified as Republicans.
Arizona, California, Nevada and Massachusetts are likely to vote on ballot initiatives this fall to tax and regulate cannabis. Vermont is moving quickly to be the first state to undertake the shift through the state legislature.
Still there has been no significant shift in federal policy.
Those caught on federal land – even in possession of a few grams of marijuana – or not following the letter of local cannabis regulations still face serious sanctions by the federal government.
Retail marijuana establishments have also been left out of the traditional banking infrastructure and forced to operate only in cash.
The growing majority of Americans who support cannabis reform could see candidates playing to them in the 2016 elections. Among the presidential candidates only Senator Bernie Sanders has called for outright legalization. Sanders filed a bill to remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Other candidates, like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, are firmly against ending prohibition.
Support for full legalization is still lower than that for medical use. In some state, like Pennsylvania, 90% of voters wants a compassionate access law.
Read the full results of the national YouGov poll here.