Initial Rec Sales Haven’t Increased Support for Legalization

Despite the very smooth rollout of recreational sales in Colorado, it will take longer to convince additional people that the benefits of legalization outweigh the risks.

A new CNN/ORC International nationwide survey found that approximately 55% of Americans feel recreational cannabis should be legalized. The poll is particularly noteworthy because it was conducted after adult-use cannabis sales launched in Colorado on Jan. 1, a milestone that received widespread media coverage.

While the results are encouraging for the industry, they mirror the levels of support found in other polls taken last year. In other words, there was no bump provided by the problem-free start of recreational sales.

Another way to view the data, however, is that the launch of the adult-use sales has not undermined support for legalization. Given the history of the cannabis movement, a major development that does not lead to a backsliding of support can be considered progress.