Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has said he likes his odds of getting a bill through Congress to protect state-legal marijuana operations. That’s probably a good bet. Nearly three-quarters of American voters surveyed by Qunnipiac University say they would support legislation that shields states that have legalized medical or recreational from federal prosecution. The poll showed that 74 percent of Americans surveyed said they would favor such a bill, with 20 percent opposing and 6 percent not knowing or responding.
A total of 63 percent of voters surveyed favored legalizing marijuana, an increase of 2 percentage points from the previous high of 61 percent reported in an Aug. 3, 2017, survey.
Levels of public support have steadily climbed in recent years. When Quinnipiac pollsters posed the legalization question back in December 2012 — just a month after residents in Colorado and Washington voted to start adult-use cannabis sales in their states — Americans who favored the move nationally totaled 51 percent.
The survey was conducted between April 20 and April 24 and contained a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers called landlines and cell phones of the 1,193 participants.
Questions in the survey included:
Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?
Yes: 63 percent No: 33 percent DK/NA: 4 percent
Do you support or oppose allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?
As you may know, legalizing recreational marijuana allows states to tax the sale of marijuana, which can result in increased revenue. Do you think that increasing revenue in your state is a good reason or a bad reason for recreational marijuana to be legalized?
Good reason: 54 percent Bad reason: 42 percent DK/NA: 4 percent
Do you consider marijuana a so-called “gateway drug”, or not?
Do you think that legalizing marijuana will make people more likely to use opioids, less likely to use opioids, or don’t you think legalizing marijuana will have much impact either way?
More likely: 20 percent Less likely: 20 percent Not much impact: 56 percent DK/NA: 5 percent
Clearly America is beginning to understand many of the same things our neighbors to the North have figured out… That prohibition does not work, is not popular, deprives people of essential medicine, creates organized crime and that cannabis actually holds far more promise for the future than it does danger.