Chronic Magazine | February 26, 2023
A new national poll conducted by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR) has shown that more than two-thirds of Republican voters support federal cannabis policy reform. The poll, which included likely 2024 Republican presidential primary and caucus voters, indicated that 68% of respondents supported the end of the federal prohibition of cannabis. Additionally, 70% of respondents indicated support for a state's right to legalize cannabis.
The poll, commissioned by CPEAR, which receives funding from companies in the alcohol and tobacco industries, highlights a growing momentum for cannabis policy reform, including among conservatives. According to CPEAR Executive Director Andrew Freedman, federal cannabis reform would provide many benefits, such as protecting states' rights, enabling law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes, and reducing use among America's youth.
The national survey, which included 58% of GOP voters, shows a 10% increase in support for reform than CPEAR’s 2022 poll. 40% of likely 2024 Republican presidential primary and caucus voters strongly support cannabis legalization efforts. Conversely, only 29% oppose legalization, with 19% strongly opposed.
The poll’s results quickly garnered the attention of a few Republican lawmakers in Congress who have been outspoken about their support for federal cannabis policy reform. South Carolina GOP Rep. Nancy Mace, who introduced a bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level during the previous Congress known as the States Reform Act (SRA), said that “it appears the only place where cannabis reform is unpopular is in Washington, D.C.”
Republican Ohio Rep. David Joyce said, “Continued inaction is no longer tenable” and hoped more of his colleagues would join him in working towards a safe and effectively regulated legal marketplace that respects the rights of the over 40 states that have enacted some varying degree of legality.
The poll's implications are clear: federal cannabis prohibition is in direct contradiction to the overwhelming will of the American electorate, including a notable majority of conservative voters. Given the growing support for cannabis policy reform, it is time for Congress to take action and reform federal cannabis policy to ensure that it aligns with the will of the American people.