On Thursday, Pew Research Center released the 2019 polling results on support for marijuana legalization which showed an increase with more than two-thirds of Americans backing the policy.
The survey was conducted through phone interviews from September 3-15. It involved 9,900 respondents, of whom 67 percent said that cannabis should be legal. This is 5 percent higher than the 2018 Pew survey findings on marijuana legalization support. Pew Research Center’s 2019 poll results closely reflect survey findings released last month by Gallup, which showed that 66 percent of Americans are in favor of marijuana legalization.
In their survey questions, Pew had a new question that had multiple policy options from which the respondents could choose their answer. The new question results showed that 91 percent of Americans support the legalization of either medical or adult-use marijuana. The legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana was backed by 59 percent, while 32 percent support legalization for medical cannabis only. And only 8 percent said that marijuana should stay illegal.
According to Pew, non-supporters of marijuana legalization said that the new question findings were notable. They also said that when people are presented with more policy options to choose from, the likelihood of supporting the broad legalization of cannabis would be lessened. But, the fact is that the majority of Americans are in support of the full legalization of marijuana.
The survey confirms that marijuana reforms require the support of both the Democrats and Republicans, with 55 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats supporting the legalization of weed.
Last year’s poll results showed that only 45 percent and 69 percent of Republicans and Democrats were in favor of legalization, respectively. This year’s poll pools responses from individuals as well as the members of the parties according to which party they are leaning towards. However, the previous polls separated the responses according to parties and reported their support or lack of separately.
The Executive Director of NORML, Erik Altieri, said that over the past three decades, the percentage of the public supporting recreational marijuana has been on the rise, and there is no sign that it will subside. He further noted that in the last few years, public support has been growing stronger as more and more states develop their marijuana reforms. He also said that although the country is divided politically, at least the majority of the Americans agree on the issue of cannabis legalization.
According to the 2019 survey, people of all races, men, and women are in support of ending marijuana prohibition.
Support for marijuana legalization is expected to continue rising. The “Silent Generation” is the only age group where the majority are not in favor of legalization. Sixty-three percent of Baby Boomers and 65 percent of Generation X support legalization. And, an overwhelming number of Millennials (76 percent) are in favor of legalization.
The partisan gap support among the millennials is small because 78 percent of millennial Democrats and 71 percent of millennial Republicans are in favor of the legalization of cannabis.
The percentage of adults who are not in favor of legalizing Cannabis has reduced to 32 percent in 2019 compared to 52 percent in 2010, said Pew.
According to the released report, the increased support of marijuana legalization is because more states have legalized medical and recreational cannabis. Pew also noted that apart from the former Vice President Joe Biden, the other Democratic presidential candidates are in favor of legalizing marijuana.
Industry observers say that this news of the increased support for marijuana legalization is unlike to excite marijuana industry players like SinglePoint Inc. (OTCQB: SING) and The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) that have so far failed to see this overwhelming public support resulting in any federal marijuana law reforms.
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