Only Conservative Republicans Still Oppose Legalizing Marijuana

Saturday, April 06, 2013
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Conservative Republicans today are the last holdouts opposing the legalization of marijuana, in contrast to the rest of the United States.


Only 29% of conservatives in the GOP say they favor legalization, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.


This low level of support conflicts with others in their own party: 53% of moderate and liberal Republicans support legalizing marijuana.


Overall, a majority of Americans (52%) are okay with marijuana becoming legal, marking the first time this has happened in the U.S, according to Pew.


Support for legalization has jumped 11 points since 2010, driven largely by increased support from those aged 30-64. The only age group in which a majority still opposes legalization is the 65 and older cohort.


Support for legalization crosses racial and ethnic lines with a majority of whites, blacks and Hispanics in favor of changing the law.


According to the Pew poll, 48% of Americans have tried marijuana at least once, including 12% who did so in the past year. The percentage of recent use rises to 27% for those aged 18-27.


Seventy-two percent of Americans now say that government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth and 60% believe the federal government should not enforce federal laws in states that allow the use of marijuana. On both matters, opinion crosses ideological lines.

-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Majority Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press)

Most Americans Want the Federal Government to Stay Out of State Marijuana Rulings (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

More Teens Smoke Marijuana than Tobacco (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Half of Americans Support Legal Marijuana for First Time (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

More Californians Voted for Marijuana than for Republican Candidates (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


Mr Armbruster 10 years ago
I agree with Mr Rummel as well. Many of the young Republicans that I speak with could care less if people used pot in the same manner that we use alcohol. Meaning with very little regulation.
Alistair 10 years ago
"elderly Democrats are, very generally speaking, better-informed and more highly educated" Evidence, please? The fact is that Republicans tend to be in the middle -- both in terms of education and income level. Democrats tend to be on the extremes -- the least-educated and the most, and the lowest incomes and the highest. One odd thing about the study -- why do they lump moderate and liberal Republicans together, while separating out conservative Republicans, but on the other hand, lumping moderate and conservative Democrats together and separating liberal Democrats? It would be interesting to see if conservative Democrats oppose legalization at similar levels to conservative Republicans.
anonymouse 11 years ago
Agree with Mr Rummel. The "Generation Gap" lives on. That opposition to legalization is demographically concentrated among elderly conservatives is more a function of miseducation than political orientation. (If there is a skew toward the GOP in this group, it reflects the fact that elderly Democrats are, very generally speaking, better-informed and more highly educated.) As a small-ell libertarian, I take comfort in the notion that the drug-war paradigm must and will change, one funeral at a time.
Bill Rummel 11 years ago
Wrong. Any "conservative" would favor it a states issue, not further advance the un-constitutionality of fedgov regulation.

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