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Another Poll Shows Majority Support For Marijuana Legalization, Including Most Republicans

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A majority of U.S. adults, including most Republicans, support national marijuana legalization, another poll has found. It’s the second such national survey to be released over the past week.

Rasmussen Reports asked Americans if they support the “national legalization of marijuana,” and 62 percent of respondents said yes.

One of the more notable demographics to voice support for the policy change was Republicans, 54 percent of whom said they back legalization. That’s compared to 68 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of those who said they had an “other” political affiliation.

The survey also looked at whether respondents felt legalization should be a federal, state or local decision.

About half (47 percent) said the federal government should be in charge of legalizing cannabis, 32 percent said the states should decide and 11 percent favor local action on reform.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they live in a state where marijuana is legal, compared to 38 percent who said they didn’t. Also, 50 percent said they’ve smoked cannabis versus 45 percent who said they haven’t.

The only demographics that didn’t express majority support for national legalization were those 65 or older (40 percent) and those with incomes of $200,000 or more (38 percent).

The survey involved interviews with 1,000 Americans from October 21-24. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points.

This is the second poll in recent days to show majority public support for legalization.

A survey from Gallup found that 68 percent of U.S. adults said they back legalizing cannabis in this latest survey.

That’s the same percentage that the firm reported for its last poll in November 2020, where support had reached its highest level since 1969.

The release of these poll results comes as congressional lawmakers continue to pursue reform. A key House committee approved a legalization bill in September, and Senate leaders are also pushing a plan to end federal cannabis prohibition. Additionally, a new Republican-led effort to federally legalize and tax cannabis will soon be introduced in the House.

Yet, despite the solid public support for reform, particularly among Democrats, President Joe Biden continues to oppose adult-use legalization. Instead, he’s supportive of more modest proposals to federally decriminalize cannabis, legalize the plant for medical use and let states set their own policies.

While the president is personally against comprehensively ending prohibition, the Congressional Research Service released a report on Wednesday explaining steps he and his administration could take to repair the harms of cannabis criminalization.

Recent state and local polling has also continued to show the public backing broad marijuana reform.

For example, as multiple Pennsylvania lawmakers introduce bills to legalize cannabis, support for the reform is at a record high in the state, according to a new survey.

Marijuana legalization is more popular in Maryland than Biden and the state’s two U.S. senators, a poll released late last month found.

At the national level, Gallup released a survey in August showing that nearly half of American adults have tried cannabis.

Last year, the firm also published a survey finding that about 70 percent of Americans view smoking cannabis to be a morally acceptable activity. That’s higher than their views on the morality of issues such as  gay relationships, medical testing of animals, the death penalty and abortion.

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