Public support for a states’ rights approach to marijuana legalization is solidifying, at a time when momentum is building in Congress for exactly such reform.
Nearly three in four American voters (74%) support legislation that would protect states with legal medical and recreational marijuana programs from federal prosecution, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.
Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, and Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, plan soon to introduce a bipartisan bill that would provide states with the authority to decide on marijuana laws for themselves.
Gardner said recently he received personal support from President Trump for the approach.
Separately, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has said he would introduce legislation that includes a states’ rights approach.
Despite public support and momentum on the Hill, some experts remain skeptical that MJ federal reform will occur before the midterm elections in November.
John Hudak, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution, a Washington DC think tank, recently said that he just doesn’t think Congress “has the appetite” to take on the issue.
The new Quinnipiac survey also found that U.S. voters now support legalization by a 63% to 33% margin, up 2 percentage points since an August 2017 survey. Support for medical marijuana remained unchanged at 93%.
“Voters are more favorable to legalizing marijuana than in any previous Quinnipiac University survey,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a news release.
The phone survey of 1,193 U.S. voters nationwide has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.