Over two-thirds of Republicans support marijuana legalization
As more states legalize cannabis, it’s become apparent that reform is not a partisan issue. A recent poll of conservative voters seemingly confirmed this, with 68 percent of Republicans surveyed saying they support federal marijuana legalization.
The survey, conducted by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), also revealed that 70 percent of GOP members feel it should be up to individual states to decide how they want to proceed with regard to legalization.
The recent poll signifies a ten percent jump in support for cannabis reform among Republicans. A similar CPEAR survey in 2022 had 58 percent of conservative voters in favor. These numbers highlight the rapid momentum around legalizing marijuana.
“The polling is clear: federal cannabis prohibition is in direct contradiction to the overwhelming will of the American electorate, including a notable majority of conservative voters,” said Representative David Joyce (R-OH) in a CPEAR press release obtained by GreenState.
“I hope more of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will heed the call of their constituents and join me in working towards a safe and effectively regulated legal marketplace that respects the rights of the over 40 states that have enacted some varying degree of legality. Continued inaction is no longer tenable,” Rep. Joyce added.
The CPEAR poll showed that 52 percent of Republican voters would be more likely to support a presidential candidate that favors an end to cannabis prohibition. While most of the early 2024 presidential contenders have failed to address marijuana legalization, GOP candidate Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina, has indicated support for a “states’ rights” approach.
A recent report from analytics firm New Frontier Data showed that cannabis consumers in America are evenly split in terms of their political affiliation. In that survey, 36% of respondents identified as liberal, 29% as conservative, and 28% as independent.
“A misconception is that Republicans don’t support marijuana reform—it’s pretty widespread,” Representative Nolan West (R), the Assistant Minority Leader in Minnesota’s House of Representatives, told GreenState. Rep. West was a vocal proponent of adult-use legalization in Minnesota, and voted for the bill that was recently signed into law. “In my view, (legalization) should be a Republican issue because it’s based on individual liberty, which is one of the biggest pillars of the Republican Party.”
With more people from across the political spectrum in support of ending the federal prohibition of cannabis, lawmakers are likely to take note. The fact that both Democrats and Republicans support marijuana highlights the shifting tide in the American perception of the plant. This call to action could potentially equate to measurable change in Washington within a few short years.