More Americans than ever are in favor of making marijuana legal, according to a new poll. And at the ballot booth for the November 2018 election, millions of voters in the Midwest could bring that trend into the nation’s heartland.
While legalized marijuana is not on as many state ballots for the November 2018 Election as it was in 2016, it is just as important this year because of the states involved. Voters in two states in the Midwest – Michigan and North Dakota – will decide whether to legalize adult-use marijuana.
In Utah and Missouri, voters will decide on whether to legalize medical marijuana.
Americans Favor Marijuana Legalization
Ahead of the November 2018 Election, the Pew Research Center released a new survey that found 62% of people in the United States say marijuana should be legalized. That’s double the number who said the same thing in 2000, showing how much Americans’ attitudes have changed this century.
Among Millennials, 74% support legalization. A majority of two other generations also support making cannabis legal: Generation Xers (63%) and Baby Boomers (54%). Only 39% of those in the older Silent Generation support legalization, but that’s the highest level of support ever recorded in a Pew Research Center survey among that group
Split by political party affiliation, 69% of Democrats favor legalization. Among Republicans, that number falls to 45%. However, that’s higher than the 39% of Republicans who favored legalized cannabis in 2015.
November 2018 Election State Votes
Most marijuana advocates are watching the votes in Michigan and North Dakota the closest. If they pass, the two states would be the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana. They would join nine other states: Alaska, California. Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. The District of Columbia also has legalized adult-use sales.
A recent survey in Michigan found that 55% plan to vote for legal adult-use cannabis, with 41% opposed. Only 3% remain undecided.
In North Dakota, a recent survey found 51% plan to vote for legalization, with 36% opposed. About 13% remain undecided.
In Utah, support for medical marijuana legalization has dropped 15% since June to just over 50%, a trend that likely has much to do with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opposing the measure, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The picture in Missouri is a bit murkier, as voters will consider three different proposals to legalize medical marijuana.
Whatever the outcome, the results from these ballot issues will indicate whether the nationwide trend toward legalization will breakthrough into the Midwest. That would be a significant change that could prove a big step toward other Midwestern states – and perhaps the federal government – considering legalization.