The results of the recently released Gallup poll are out, and the verdict is in — 64% of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, the highest approval rates in the 50 years since Gallup has been running polls on the public’s view of marijuana. Even more impressive, this latest poll shows that for the first time a majority of Republicans (51%) favor legalizing cannabis — up almost 9 percent from just one year ago.
The brand-new poll, entitled Record High Support for Legalizing Marijuana Use in the US, also demonstrates just how out of touch members of the current administration are with the general public.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for example, has repeatedly called for cracking down on states’ rights to legalize cannabis. Earlier this year, Sessions asked Congress to repeal the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which would allow him to go after medical marijuana providers.
After this latest poll, it is clear that Sessions’ views are in direct conflict with not just the majority of Americans, but even with members of his own party. Support for legalizing marijuana has been growing at a steady clip across America, with 29 states and Washington, DC now having passed medical or recreational use legislation.
At the same time, several new cannabis research bills — many with bipartisan support — have been proposed by members of both the House and Senate. These include the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which is cosponsored by 19 congressmen from both parties, and the Marijuana Effective Drug Study (MEDS) Act, which was written by ultra-conservative Republican Senator Orrin Hatch.
These pieces of legislation, and others such as the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, target the federal government’s power to limit funding and research on medical marijuana and promote the use of the natural plant medicine for modern health crises like PTSD and addiction.
In fact, one of the factors driving the ever-increasing public support for cannabis legalization is its proven ability to alleviate conditions that pharmaceuticals have failed to adequately treat.
As cannabis proves itself to be potent medicine for many people, public approval of its legalization will only continue to rise. If the White House hopes to serve the actual people that it represents — on both sides of the political spectrum — it will have to change its tune eventually.