Strange Bedfellows: Dems, GOP Increasingly Agree on Pot
In today’s polarized political environment, Americans can’t seem to agree on, well, anything. But there’s one topic that’s causing U.S. voters of all stripes to meet in the middle and shake hands: marijuana.
Weed used to be a radicalizing topic, notable for sharply divergent viewpoints. Not anymore.
A majority of likely voters in the U.S. support legalizing marijuana in all 50 states, according to a new poll. Significantly, the poll was taken by a Republican pollster, the Tarrance Group.
The survey results confirmed the established fact that Democrats tend to be more in favor of cannabis, but what’s striking is the growing number of Republican converts to the cause of marijuana legal reform. The culture wars aren’t engulfing marijuana.
The Tarrance Group survey, released last week, found that 57% of respondents approve of nationwide cannabis legalization, including 35% who reported that they “strongly” support the policy change.
Democrats were generally the most supportive of the reform, with 67% of voters in the party saying they back coast-to-coast legalization. Seventy-four percent of Democrats under 55 said the same.
Among independents, 56% of likely voters approve of nationwide legalization, while 63% of independents under 55 favor the move.
Younger voters skew toward legalization. Sixty-seven percent of likely voters between the ages of 18 and 44 expressed support for nationwide legalization, compared to 57% of people 45-64 and 47% of those 65 and older.
Supporters of President Joe Biden strongly support nationwide legalization, at 68%, while 48% of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s backers say the same. Fifty percent of undecided voters support the policy change.
The survey also found that 55% of people who the pollster defined as “double-haters,” (those who hold negative views of both Biden and Trump) are in favor of legalizing cannabis throughout the country.
The Tarrance poll involved interviews with 1,000 likely voters from January 3-4, with a 3.1 percentage point margin of error. The following chart breaks down the poll’s results in detail:
The public mood has firmly shifted in favor of legalizing weed.
According to the latest polling from Gallup, 70% of U.S. adults currently say that the use of marijuana should be legal, up from 68% in 2022.
In 1969, when it began polling on the topic, Gallup found that only 12% of respondents favored legalization. Two years later, in 1971, President Nixon launched his War on Drugs, which proved disastrous and has since been largely dismantled.
In a separate poll, Gallup found that more people in the U.S. are currently smoking marijuana than tobacco cigarettes. The macho “Marlboro Man” on horseback is now widely perceived as public health enemy number one, whereas the erstwhile “Devil’s Weed” is seen as benign.
The research firm New Frontier Data stated in a recent report:
“There are now more monthly cannabis consumers (29.7 million) than constitute the populations of the nation’s 14 largest cities combined. And after decades of consorting among the shadows of acceptable society, legalization has allowed newly liberated millions of cannabis consumers to celebrate their lifestyles and consumerism.”
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John Persinos is the editorial director of Investing Daily.