Support for legalizing marijuana, pot, cannabis, whatever you want to call it, is at a record high, in the U.S., according to the results of a new survey provided by Marijuana Moment.
The Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., teamed up GBA Strategies, a polling and research company, to ask 1,000 registered voters what they thought about legalization and legalization-related issues.
When all of the numbers were crunched, 68 percent of Americans responded that they support marijuana legalization, more or less. Specifically, 40 percent “strongly support” legalizing pot, 28 percent “somewhat support” legalization. Among the 32 percent who oppose legalization, 15 percent “somewhat oppose” it, while 17 percent “strongly oppose” legalization.
Looking at the responses a bit closer, it appears that there’s an ideological divide between conservatives and liberals when it comes to legalization. 77 percent of Democrats support legalization, while perhaps surprisingly, 57 percent of Republicans support legalization. And when the groups polled are broken down even further (sex, race, ethnic group, and so on), there is no group that by a majority opposes legalization.
Ed Chung, vice president of criminal justice reform at CAP, said that cannabis legalization will almost certainly be an issue in the 2018 mid-term elections.
“[Legalization is] certainly going to be, at least, a bipartisan issue. I think you’ll see a lot of progressive [elected officials] who are going to be out front about this.”
In fact, the future of legalizing pot in the U.S. remains hazy, even as America’s neighbor to the north, Canada, just today legalized marijuana, as reported by the Inquisitr.
As Business Insider reports, 38 states have legalized either recreational or medical marijuana, to one degree or another. However, marijuana remains illegal as a matter of federal law, and theoretically, anyway, the DEA could shut down any pot shop in the country with one phone call from Washington. In fact, for a time that seemed a very real possibility when Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the Obama-era memo that prohibited federal funds from being used to interfere with states’ marijuana-legalization systems.
However, Donald Trump, for his part, has suggested that he’s open to allowing states to continue to legalize marijuana on their own, breaking from his Attorney General’s position on the matter. Meanwhile, according to Forbes, the STATES Act (Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States) aims to leave it up to the states, by matter of federal law, whether or not to legalize pot. Forbes writer Mike Adams, however, says that it’s unlikely the act will make it out of Congress.