Poll: Majority of Americans Support Legalization, Want Feds to Step Off

Article by Alicia Wallace, The Cannabist

A national poll conducted in February 2017 by Quinnipiac University finds 59 percent of adults surveyed favored the legalization of marijuana use in the United States

Americans are increasingly in favor of legalizing some form of marijuana — especially medical — and a majority across the board think the federal government should leave legal states alone.

A new Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found 71 percent of Americans would oppose a federal crackdown on legal marijuana, and 93 percent are in favor of medical marijuana, according to the survey of 1,323 voters nationwide.

This is the first time the enforcement action question was posed as part of the Quinnipiac polls, which in the past have surveyed Americans about their support or opposition of issues such as marijuana use, legalization and decriminalization, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Questions abound about potential enforcement of federal marijuana law following the election of Donald Trump as president and the subsequent appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, as the nation’s attorney general.

When broken out by political affiliation, gender, education, race and age, the majority of the respective groups surveyed opposed such an action, according to the poll. The survey was conducted Feb. 16-21 via landline and cellphone interviews, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

Public support for marijuana legalization has grown since the November election, in which a historic number of states approved medical or recreational legalization measures. A June 2016 Quinnipiac poll showed that 54 percent of adults surveyed favored the legalization of marijuana use in the United States and 89 percent supported allowing adults to legally use medical marijuana if their doctor prescribes it.

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