According to the poll, 75% of American voters officially support adult legalization of weeds
Support for cannabis legalization in the US has hit a new high, according to a new national survey by The Hill and HarrisX.
Last week, 1,882 registered voters were presented with three different cannabis reform strategies and asked to choose which option best reflected their personal views on the matter. Respondents were asked whether they think the federal government should legalize cannabis, whether individual states should be free to legalize, or whether cannabis should remain illegal across the country.
Three-quarters of voters said they wanted an end to the cannabis ban, but they disagreed on whether the government or states should take the lead in legalizing it. Support for federal legalization had a very small lead of 38 percent, compared to 37 percent who believed individual states should enact their own laws on adult use. Only 25 percent of all respondents said they wanted the war on weeds to continue.
As recently as 2019, national polls reported that around two-thirds of all Americans were ready to end the pot ban. Last fall, a national Gallup poll found that support for legalization rose to 70 percent, and the latest poll shows that support has grown even higher over the past six months.
Most other weed reform polls found younger, more liberal voters to be more likely to be in favor of legalization, and the current poll found similar results. Only 13 percent of voters ages 18 to 34 said weeds should remain illegal, compared with 32 percent of voters ages 50 or older. 84 percent of Democrats said they disagree with legalization, compared with 74 percent of Independents and 66 percent of Republicans.
Support for cannabis reform also varied by gender and geographic region. Women were more (28 percent) against legalization than men (22 percent) and fewer (33 percent) in favor of legalization by the federal government than men (43 percent). The poll also reports that 78 percent of voters living in the northeast or west coast were in favor of legalization, compared with 75 percent in the south and 72 percent in the Midwest.
Although the individual percentages vary somewhat, the survey found that the legalization of cannabis is supported by a majority in each individual population group. The strongest opposition to weed reform came from people who voted for Donald Trump last year (see figure), but still only 36 percent of those voters said marijuana should remain illegal.
The strong majority stake in legalization eventually seems to start a fire among elected officials. New York just legalized weeds this week, and New Mexico and Virginia are poised to do the same. And after decades of blocking any attempt at pot reform, the Senate leadership is working on a new bill to end the federal cannabis ban once and for all.