Cannabis Legalization One of the Most Popular Issues for Americans

The legalization of marijuana recently polled in the top five most popular issues among adults in the U.S.

A new survey of more than 1,300 adults in the United States reveals that the legalization of marijuana is one of the most popular issues.

The poll, conducted by Marist University in partnership with NPR and PBS NewsHour, found 63 percent of those surveyed support marijuana legalization, compared to 32 percent who are opposed.

Ending marijuana prohibition was found to be more popular than free college tuition, a national $15 minimum wage, a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, and a monthly Universal Basic Income of $1,000.

The marijuana legalization issue appears to be bipartisan, with the poll showing favor among 74 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independent voters, and 41 percent of Republicans.

Similarly, the Marist Poll showed that support for marijuana reform is tilted on ideological lines. Among those self-described as very liberal or liberal, 87 percent voiced favor for marijuana, compared to 62 percent of self-described moderate voters, and 40 percent of those who identify as conservative or very conservative.

According to the poll, marijuana legalization is unpopular among self-identified Donald Trump supporters. Only 41 percent of those who back the president are in favor of legalization, while 54 percent oppose the idea.

Marijuana reform is slated to be one of the top issues in the 2020 presidential election. Nearly every Democratic presidential candidate supports legalization.

The overall results of the Marist Poll are similar to a June poll from Gallup, in which 64 percent of the country said they favored legalization.

Many issues beyond marijuana legalization polled

In the Marist Poll, support for marijuana legalization was tied at 63 percent with the Green New Deal, defined as a plan “to address climate change by investing government money in green jobs and energy efficient infrastructure.”

Background checks for gun purchases, expanded access to Medicare, and a pathway to citizenship for individuals who are undocumented were the only issues that polled higher than marijuana legalization.

When asked the question, “Do you think Medicare for all that want it, that is allow all Americans to choose between a national health insurance program or their own private health insurance, is a good idea or a bad idea?”, 70 percent said such a plan was a good idea. However, a Medicare for All plan that replaces private health insurance with a national insurance program received only 41 percent support.

Other notable findings of the Marist Poll include:

  • Regulation of prescription drug prices received 67 percent support.
  • Creating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants to the United States who came here illegally received 64 percent support.
  • A higher tax on those making one million dollars and over polled at 62 percent.
  • Raising the minimum wage received 56 percent support.
  • Free college tuition received support from 53 percent of those polled.
  • The issue of Universal Basic Income, where everyone over 18 receives a $1000 a month, was the least popular issue with 26 percent in favor.
  • The second least popular issue was providing reparations for slavery, which polled at 27 percent.

The poll, funded by PBS and NPR, was conducted July 15-17th among 1,346 adult American citizens.

More cannabis industry news

Is marijuana legalization a key issue for you as you decide on a candidate in the next presidential election? Read our 2020 Presidential Candidates on Marijuana: The Ultimate Guide to see where each candidate stands.

Want to stay up to speed on the latest cannabis news in politics? Visit the Medical Marijuana, Inc. news page.