A recent poll found that fifty-five percent of American adults think that the laws regulating the legal cannabis markets in some states are successful, or that they are at least “more of a success than a failure.”
The survey, taken by YouGov on April 20 of this year, asked 27,328 Americans living in the states that have already enacted laws to legalize marijuana, “Do you think the legislation has been a success or a failure?”
The poll provided 5 response options to participants:
More of a success than a failure
More of a failure than a success
Combining to account for the majority, thirty-six percent of poll participants say the laws regulating the legal cannabis markets in eleven of the states are “more of a success than a failure” and nineteen percent replied that they are a total success.
Believing the opposite, thirteen percent of respondents stated that recreational legalization laws have been “more of a failure than a success.” Only six percent view the legislation as a complete failure. Unsure of the effectiveness of the laws, twenty-six percent of people replied that they “don’t know.”
YouGov sorted the survey results according to:
Significant imbalances in responses among the geographical regions, gender, age, and income levels of poll participants were not observed.
Disparity Among Political Parties
The only category that produced a notable difference among respondents was political party affiliation. Not surprisingly, Democrats and Independents were more likely to reply that the legislation was a “success only” or “more of a success than a failure” than their Republican counterparts.
Sixty-seven percent of Democrats and fifty-four percent of Independents attested that regulated markets were operating within one of the two positive poll response choices. Forty-one percent of poll participants that described themselves as Republican also categorized the legislation as successful.
Independents (21 percent) were more likely than Democrats (10 percent) to consider the law to be a complete failure or “more of a failure than a success.” Thirty-four percent of Republicans agreed that the legislation is unsuccessful.
National Shift Toward Support
Another YouGov poll administered on the same day found that sixty-two percent of Americans believe that the use of cannabis will be legal in every one of the United States within the next decade and that fifty percent of voters believe that “recreational marijuana should be legalized.”
In-line with the results of this recent poll from YouGov, the opinion of the majority of Americans has been steadily shifting in support of legalization for many years now. A poll released by Gallup last year revealed that an even greater percentage of voters (66 percent) are now in favor of a regulated recreational cannabis market. That number increased from fifty-eight percent, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.
Polls from the last several years show that most voters in states like Maryland, Connecticut, and Wisconsin support the recreational legalization of marijuana. Some large cities in states where the plant has not yet been legalized for recreational use, like New Orleans, LA, and Dallas, TX, have still supported the trend by choosing to decriminalize personal possession.
A steadily growing majority of voters in Wisconsin say they want marijuana to be “fully legalized and regulated like alcohol,” according to a new poll.
Wisconsin is lagging behind other states in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions in advancing marijuana policy reform. Unlike nearby Illinois and Minnesota, the state does not have medical cannabis beyond an extremely limited CBD program.
And even simple possession of marijuana is punishable by six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
This lack of progress isn’t because voters are unwilling.
Sixty-one percent of voters said they want marijuana prohibition to be replaced with legal regulations, according to a new poll Marquette University Law School released on Wednesday, compared to 36 percent who said they were opposed.
That’s a slight increase from 2016, the last time the question was asked, when 59 percent said they supported legalization and 39 percent were opposed.
These results are consistent with other surveys, including national polling conducted by Pew and Gallup, which also find marijuana legalization popular with a majority of Americans. A separate poll in New Jersey, also published on Wednesday, showed majority support for legal cannabis in that state.
The Wisconsin results also show that voters there continue to warm to the idea despite intransigence from Gov. Scott Walker (R), who has called marijuana a gateway drug and who has voiced support for drug-testing recipients of government benefits.
The majority of marijuana consumers do not move on to use other, harder drugs, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found.
The new survey also shows that marijuana legalization is slightly more popular among men than women, and far more popular among Democrats than Republicans.
Sixty-two percent of men said they favored legalization, compared to 53 percent of women.
And 62 percent of Republicans want to keep marijuana illegal, while 76 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independents said they favored legalization.
Ending prohibition was most popular among voters ages 30 to 44. Seventy-three percent of those respondents said they favored legalization, with 68 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 and 61 percent of voters aged 45 to 59.
Marijuana legalization proved least popular among older voters and among religious voters, according to the poll.
The results may bode well for Tony Evers, the Democratic challenger to Walker, who trails the governor by two points in the same poll.
Evers has said that he would sign medical cannabis legislation into law if elected and has said he also favors decriminalizing marijuana and holding a voter referendum on broader legalization. Marijuana-friendly candidates have had a string of success in other races across the country.
The Garden State is overwhelmingly in support of legalizing marijuana.
New Jersey voters are on board with ending cannabis prohibition by a margin of 62 percent to 33 percent, a new poll shows. That includes strong majorities of Democrats, independents, men, women, whites, nonwhites and every age group except those older than 65.
A whopping 90 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 34 support cannabis legalization.
A separate question in the new Quinnipiac University survey, released on Wednesday, finds that voters support “erasing criminal records for marijuana possession,” 63 percent to 27 percent.
And when it comes to allowing legal marijuana sales in one’s own community, voters are comfortable with that to the tune of 50 percent to 45 percent.
A new survey of Michigan voters, funded by an organization opposed to the state’s marijuana legalization initiative, showed large support for reform and weaning support for prohibition.
The survey of 800 Michigan residents, which was conducted from May 1 to May 6, was orchestrated by Healthy and Productive Michigan.
Before being prompted with arguments for and against the initiative—which surpassed the required signatures to qualify for the state’s November ballot last month—respondents favored full cannabis legalization 48 percent to 42 percent, with 11 percent remaining undecided, according to the survey.
Arguments in favor of the proposed initiative, including increased tax revenue for public programs such as education funding and infrastructure, caused opposition to the initiative to drop to 36 percent. Support remained at 48 percent.
And then, even after the polling firm Victory Phones provided arguments opposing the initiative, support for legalization grew by one percent to 49 percent. Opposition ended up at 38 percent.
“Previous polls showing majority support didn’t pass the smell test. When polling, it is always important to review how the questions are asked and what size of audience responds,” Healthy and Productive Michigan’s President Scott Greenlee said in a press release. “Our poll pointed out arguments on both sides of the issue in a consistent and unbiased manner, and the fieldwork was conducted by the highly respected Victory Phones, who have a nearly 10 year track record of accurately measuring election results in Michigan.”
But the truth is that the prohibitionist organization’s poll showed that support for the legalization measure outweighs opposition, and that’s even more true after voters hear prohibitionist’s best arguments.
The share of voters who said they planned to vote against the measure dropped seven percentage points after they were read Healthy and Productive Michigan’s reasons for wanting to defeat it. Support rose one percentage point.
The survey was released just as another anti-legalization group, the Committee to Keep Pot out of Neighborhoods and Schools, did an about-face and called on the Michigan legislature to amend and pass a version of the initiative in order to effectively regulate cannabis. Legalization “will be a reality in Michigan,” a spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press.
The proposed Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act would permit adults 21 and older to legally possess, grow and consume small amounts of marijuana. Specifically, adults would be allowed to grow up to 12 total cannabis plants in a single residence, and possess 2.5 ounces outside their homes and store 10 ounces at home.
Healthy and Productive Michigan did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.