Republican lawmakers who oppose marijuana legalization are apparently at odds with the very people who support them. A new Republican marijuana survey finds that 68 percent of likely 2024 Republican voters favor ending federal prohibition against marijuana.
What’s more, 70 percent of the people surveyed said they support the rights of leaders in each individual state to make up their own minds about cannabis legalization.
The new survey comes from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR). The results reflect the findings of previous surveys that have shown Republicans back states’ rights when it comes to cannabis and favor legalization (especially of medical marijuana).
“This polling confirms momentum for cannabis reform is gaining speed,” Andrew Freedman, CPEAR executive director, said in a news release about the survey. “It is very encouraging to see significant growth in support among conservatives, and it is not difficult to understand why these numbers are going up.”
Marijuana and Conservative Values
The argument among Republicans who favor cannabis legalization has taken a turn that would have been unthinkable a few years ago: Marijuana legalization reflects conservative values.
In the news release on the Republican marijuana survey, Freedman and Republican congressional members argue that the pool results reflect conservatives understanding what lies at the core of the marijuana legalization issue.
For example, Rep. Brian Mast of Florida said of the survey’s results: “This isn’t surprising, conservatives believe in states’ rights. At its core, cannabis is a state issue, and that’s what I’ll continue to advocate for: commonsense federal policy that lets 50 states decide on 50 solutions that are best for their constituents.”
They also hit upon the popular stance of conservatives to limit the size and power of the federal government. “It is time we give states the power to make decisions around cannabis without fear of federal consequences,” said Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina.
Details of the Republican Marijuana Survey
Conducted in January 2023, the survey involved interviews with 600 likely 2024 Republican primary voters over the age of 21. The poll results found that while Republicans did not say they support legalization, they favor ending the federal prohibition against marijuana.
The federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug on par with substances such as cocaine and heroin.
The survey found that 68 percent of likely Republican presidential primary and caucus voters support “federal cannabis reform,” with 40 percent saying they strongly support it. Only 29 percent oppose reform, with 19 percent saying they strongly oppose it.
Notably, 52 percent said they would be more likely to support a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who favored legislation to end federal prohibition of adult-use cannabis and “allow individual states to decide whether it would be legal in their own state.”