Golden/TIPP poll: Americans back federal legalization of marijuana

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By tippinsights Editorial Board, TIPP Insights

Two-thirds of Americans support the legalization of marijuana at the federal level. A majority within each of the 36 demographic groups support the legalization. Those are the key findings of a Golden/TIPP Poll of 1,305 Americans conducted in early April.


The House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) 220-204 on April 1, 2022. The Act would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances. Growing, selling, or possessing the drug would no longer carry criminal penalties. The Act also would create a process to expunge non-violent marijuana convictions and review criminal sentences for offenders.

The Act also proposes to create a cannabis tax and create programs funded by it. The Community Reinvestment Grant Program would provide services to “individuals most adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.”

By The Numbers

The survey asked the poll respondents:  The U.S. Senate has not yet acted on this, but the House of Representatives recently passed legislation to legalize marijuana at the federal level nationwide, eliminating criminal penalties for anyone who manufactures, distributes, or possesses it. Do you support or oppose legalizing marijuana nationwide?

The results:

  • 43% support strongly,
  • 23% support somewhat.
  • 12% oppose somewhat,
  • 13% oppose strongly, and
  • 9% not sure.

Under The Hood

A majority belonging to all party identifications and ideologies support legalization. The support among Democrats and liberals is the highest. And though support is the lowest among Republicans and conservatives, it is still above 50%. The support by party and ideology:

  • 79% of Democrats
  • 57% of Republicans
  • 61% of Independents
  • 59% of conservatives
  • 65% of moderates
  • 82% of liberals

The data also shows that support tapers off with older age groups. The support is the highest among urbanites and the lowest in rural areas.

The support by age group and community type:

  • 64% of the 18 to 24 age group
  • 73% of the 25 to 44group
  • 67% of the 45 to 64 group
  • 53% of age 65+
  • 73% of urban
  • 62% of suburban
  • 60% of rural

Over the past 21 years, the support for legalization has solidified. In 2001, only 34% of Americans supported legalization, compared to 66% this year. Even though the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer supports legalization, the MORE Act faces an uphill task in the Senate. To avoid a filibuster, it will need the support of at least 10 Republicans assuming all Democrats support the bill.



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