Public support for medical and recreational marijuana legalization hits all-time high

Public support for medical and recreational marijuana legalization hits all-time high

Latest numbers from Quinnipiac University Poll also show little support for a federal crackdown in states that have legalized cannabis

PUBLISHED: AUG 8, 2017, 11:41 AM • UPDATED: ABOUT AN HOUR AGOCOMMENTS (13)

By Polly Washburn, The Cannabist Staff

An increasing number of Americans are in favor of national legalization of recreational and medical marijuana, and few support a federal crackdown in states that have legalized marijuana for either purpose.

A new Quinnipiac poll released August 3 reported that medical marijuana in particular has broad support: 94 percent of Americans support “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it,” up from 93 percent 5 months ago, and up 5 points in the last year.

Non-medicinal marijuana is growing in support as well, with 61 percent agreeing that “the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States,” up from 59 percent in February 2017, and up 10 points since December 2012.

In his letters to governors of states that have legalized recreational marijuana last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited “our country’s concerns with marijuana” as something said “federal and state governments should work together to address.”

But only 20 percent of Americans surveyed by Quinnipiac support “government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.” This is down from 23 percent in February, the first time the enforcement action question was asked.

The age group most in favor of legalization is 35-49 year-olds, 77 percent of whom support national legalization, and medical marijuana at 97 percent. Only 42 percent of those 65 and older support general legalization, but 92 percent of this age group supports medical marijuana.

A political party line divide on the issue continues, with only 37 percent of Republicans supporting legalization, while 70 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Independents support it.

90 percent of Republicans support allowing medical marijuana however, up 5 points from February, and up 9 points from June 2016.

84 percent of Democrats oppose enforcement of federal laws in states where marijuana has been legalized, while 59 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Independents oppose such a move.

The poll was conducted with 1,125 voters via landlines and cell phones from July 27 – August 1, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.

Break-out of responses by age, party, gender, college degree

Full survey available at poll.qu.edu
DK/NA = Don’t know/No answer

Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?

 
TotRepDemIndMenWomen 
Yes 61%37%70%67%64%59%
No33 58 23 29 32 34 
DK/NA557447
 
AGE IN YRS..............RACE 
18-3435-4950-6465+WhiteNon-white
Yes 71%77%56%42%60%65%
No21 21 38 52 35 29
DK/NA7367 56
 
 Yes No DK/NA
Aug 03, 2017 61335
Apr 20, 2017 60346
Feb 23, 2017 59365
Jun 06, 2016 54415
Dec 05, 2012 51445


Do you support or oppose allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?

 
 TotRepDemIndMenWomen
Support94%90%95%96%95%94%
Oppose 474354
DK/NA1211-2
 
 AGE IN YRS..............RACE
 18-3435-4950-6465+WhiteNonWhite
Support93%97%96%92%95%93%
Oppose5345 46
DK/NA 2--3 11
 
SuppOpp DK/NA 
Aug 03, 201794 4 1
Apr 20, 201794 5 1
Feb 23, 201793 6 1
Jun 06, 201689 9 2

Would you support or oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana?

White w/ 
College Degree
TotRepDemIndMenWomYesNo
Support 20%34%14%18%23%17%17%24%
Oppose75 59 84 77 73 77 78 70
DK/NA58254656
 
 AGE IN YRS..............RACE 
 18-3435-4950-6465+WhiteNon-white
Support21%13%20%26%21%18%
Oppose 75 83 78 63 74 79
DK/NA 431 11 63
 

 SuppOpp DK/NA 
Aug 03, 2017 2075 5
Apr 20, 2017 2173 6
Feb 23, 2017 2371 6
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