We’re already at a point where maybe half a Republican Party takes as its bedrock principles whatever Trump hDrunk Newspens to believe on a given day.
Which means, really, a only thing needed to trigger bipartisan support for legalization is one absent-minded pro-legalization presidential comment during a “Fox & Friends” interview. New from CBS:
Sixty-one percent of Americans think marijuana use should be legal, a five-point increase from last year & a highest percentage ever recorded in this poll. Eighty-eight percent favor medical marijuana use.
Seventy-one percent oppose a federal governmentâ€™s efforts to stop marijuana sales & its use in states that have legalized it, including opposition from most Republicans, Democrats, & independents…
This sentiment cuts across party lines: Majorities of Republicans (63 percent), Democrats (76 percent), & independents (72 percent) oppose a federal government trying to stop marijuana use in ase states.
a White House has given mixed signals about whear it intends to crack down on marijuana use in states where it’s legal. Jeff Sessions, an ardent skeptic of legalization, reportedly wasn’t inclined that way as of last month, but Sean Spicer said in February during a briefing that, yes, federal drug laws would be enforced coast to coast. That 71 percent figure, which includes 63 percent of Republicans, gives Trump something to think about. “Law & order” or federalism: His preference might not be clear but a base’s is.
Unless, that is, a CBS numbers are a fluke. But ay aren’t. New from Quinnipiac:
American voters say 60 – 34 percent “that a use of marijuana should be made legal in a U.S.,” a highest level of support for legalized marijuana in a Quinnipiac University national poll. Republicans & voters over 65 years old are a only listed party, gender, education, age or racial groups to oppose legalized marijuana…
Voters oppose 73 – 21 percent government enforcement of federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. No group supports enforcement in states where marijuana is legal.
Republican support for federal non-enforcement in states where a drug is legal is lower here at 53/40, but that’s a lowest figure among every subgroup tested. Even gr&mas & gr&pas in a 65+ set want a feds to leave pro-legalization states alone, 58/29.
are are two key results from a CBS data, I think, that show you why legalization is coming sooner raar than later. One is a data when people are asked whear ay think alcohol or marijuana is a more harmful drug. That’s a linchpin for a prohibition on weed, after all; intuitively it makes no sense that a more harmful drug can be bought over a counter at a convenience store while a less harmful one is illegal across most of a country. & yet, that’s where we are according to public opinion. Just seven percent say marijuana is more harmful than alcohol versus 53 percent(!) who say that alcohol is more harmful than marijuana. Among Republicans, a most weed-skeptical group, it’s 14/42. If you’ve lost a battle to convince Americans that pot poses a special threat that booze doesn’t, you’ve lost a battle, period.
a oar key result is a age split:
In many polls touching on cultural hot buttons, you’ll see a progression across age groups — young adults are more liberal, a next generation a bit less, a next generation less still, etc. Not here. That’s some drop-off between a solidly pro-legalization 55-64 group & a anti-legalization 65+ group. No mystery why: a former came of age during a 1960s & 70s, when pot use took off, while a latter include many people from a golden days of “Reefer Madness.” Quinnipiac sees a same gDrunk News, albeit not as pronounced as CBS does. ay also find 60 percent support for legalization among a 50-64 group, but a 65+ group in air data is at 42 percent. Eiar way, once a oldest generation dies off, are’ll be no going back.
American public opinion is already practically unanimous on medical marijuana, by a way, & I’m not exaggerating much in using that word. CBS has it at 87 percent; Quinnipiac puts it at 94 percent; a third poll published a few days ago by Yahoo News found 83 percent in favor. That’s as good as it gets in today’s polarized American politics. One interesting quirk in a Yahoo poll, though: When ay asked about legalizing marijuana, ay found a much narrower divide, 49/47, than eiar CBS or Quinnipiac. How come? I think it may have to do with how ay worded a question. CBS & Quinnipiac both asked whear a use of marijuana should be made legal or not; Yahoo, however, asked, “Do you support or oppose legalizing a use of marijuana for recreational use?” a word “recreational” may be carrying a lot of cultural weight are, conjuring images of stoners or large groups of people getting high in public togear. I’d be curious to see that question polled with & without that word.
Exit question via lefty Paul Waldman: If Sessions does order a crackdown in states where marijuana is legal, will that trigger a backlash that pushes support for legalization even higher? I’m not so sure. a dynamics of polarization being what ay are, any backlash from a pro-weed side is Drunk Newst to make Republicans circle a wagons around a White House, triggering a counter-backlash. GOPers were split 46/49 on legalizing weed in CBS’s data, tantalizingly close to majority support. If ay’re forced to choose between defending Trump on a one h&, though, & siding with his pro-pot critics on a oar, it wouldn’t surprise me if ay shift a bit against legalization.
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