Two-Thirds of Americans Support Legalization of Cannabis

Two-Thirds of Americans Support Legalization of Cannabis

According to the results of a poll released on Monday, more than two-thirds of Americans are in favor of legalizing small amounts of cannabis for personal use. The new Monmouth University poll also showed broad support for President Joseph Biden’s recent executive order to pardon federal convictions for low-level marijuana possession and found that most Americans believe that cannabis is safer than alcohol.

As Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute explained, "Polling from a variety of sources shows that support for marijuana legalization has been increasing consistently over the past twenty years."

The poll indicated that the majority of respondents, 68%, are in support of legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use. When broken down by political affiliation, 76% of Democrats, 73% of Independents, and 52% o Republicans responded positively to the question. Furthermore, young people aged 35 or younger showed the strongest level

The Monmouth poll showed that 69% of respondents supported Biden’s announcement on October 6 to pardon federal convictions for simple marijuana possession.

Most Americans feel similarly to Biden about this issue, Murray clarified.

Pardons will affect about 6,500 people who were convicted of marijuana possession under federal law and thousands more in the District of Columbia. A quarter (25%) thought the number of convictions pardoned was less than 1,000, while a fifth (21%) thought the total was more than 10,000. One-fourth (26%) said

According to a recent poll, 54% of Americans don't think that legalizing marijuana will have any impact on the number of other drug-related crimes. However, 25% believe that it would increase such crimes, while 16% said there would be a decrease.

Majority Believes Alcohol Is More Dangerous Than Weed

The majority of respondents (54%) said that they believed alcohol is more dangerous than weed, while only a minority (7%) said marijuana is more dangerous.38% thought the two substances are equally as dangerous. A plurality of respondents also thought pot is safer than tobacco (45%). Only 13% percent learned that marijuana was in fact worse for you than tobacco and 38% had no preference between the two drugs.

A majority of American adults--54%--said they had tried marijuana at some point, including 54% of Democrats, 51% of Republicans, and 56%. Those who had personal experience with the plant were more supportive of its legalization. Out of those groups, 87% favored it while less than half (47%)of those who have never tried pot said yes to legalizing small amounts of cannabis.

The founding partner of Vicente Sederberg LLP, a law firm specializing in cannabis and psychedelics, Brian Vicente believes that the pro-legalization results from the new poll will most likely be carried over to next month’s midterm elections. If this were to happen, it would mean that five states would be voting to legalize adult-use marijuana.

"We are thrilled to see such strong support for cannabis legalization in this poll," Vicente wrote in an email to High Times. "With 68% of Americans now supporting legalization, it is clear that the majority of people from both major political parties and all age groups believe that it is time to reform our current laws."

“He continued, saying that this research, along with the great response to President Biden’s recent decision to pardon people with marijuana convictions, has generated more energy and enthusiasm for cannabis reform than our country has seen in a decade. This climate makes it probable that 4 or 5 more states will legalize cannabis on November 8 th. All of these factors put together will give a big boost to cannabis reformers in DC, which makes significant federal reform very possible this year."

The Monmouth University Poll was a telephone poll of 808 adults in the United States, conducted from October 13-17, 2022. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 5.2 percentage points.

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