Most Americans Support Protecting States with Legal Marijuana

According to a new poll released by Qunnipiac University, 63 percent of Americans think that marijuana should be legalized nationwide. To date, that’s the largest level of support for legal cannabis measured by the Qunnipiac survey. That’s up from 2012, when 51 percent of surveyed voters supported legalization.

“Voters are more favorable to legalizing marijuana than in any previous Quinnipiac University survey, and do not see its use as a gateway to more serious drugs,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The numbers are even more dramatic when it comes to support for protecting states with legalized medical or recreational marijuana. Voters oppose 70 -23 enforcement of federal laws in states with legalized cannabis, and support 74 – 20 percent a bill protecting states that have ended marijuana prohibition.

The 11 marijuana-related survey questions were included as part of a federal bill query and represent the largest number of cannabis-related questions on a single Quinnipiac poll.

Below are the marijuana poll results: 

Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?

  • Yes: 63%
  • No: 33%
  • DK/NA: 4%

Do you support or oppose allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?

  • Support: 93%
  • Oppose: 5%
  • DK/NA: 1%

Keeping in mind that your answers are confidential, have you ever recreationally used marijuana or not?

  • Yes: 43%
  • No: 54%
  • DK/NA: 2%

If you agreed with a political candidate on other issues, but not on the issue of legalizing marijuana, do you think you could still vote for that candidate or not?

  • Yes: 82%
  • No: 13%
  • DK/NA: 5%

Would you support or oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana?

  • Support: 23%
  • Oppose: 70%
  • DK/NA: 7%

Is recreational marijuana legal in the state in which you live, or not?

  • Yes/Legal: 22%
  • No: 72%
  • DK/NA: 5%

(If yes/legal) Do you think that legalizing recreational marijuana has been good for your state or bad for your state?

  • Good: 48%
  • Bad: 25%
  • DK/NA: 26%

As you may know, legalizing recreational marijuana allows states to tax the sale of marijuana, which can result in increased revenue. Do you think that increasing revenue in your state is a good reason or a bad reason for recreational marijuana to be legalized?

  • Good reason: 54%
  • Bad reason: 42%
  • DK/NA: 4%

Do you consider marijuana a so-called “gateway drug”, or not?

  • Yes/Gateway drug: 31%
  • No: 61%
  • DK/NA: 8%

Do you think that legalizing marijuana will make people more likely to use opioids, less likely to use opioids, or don’t you think legalizing marijuana will have much impact either way?

  • More likely: 20%
  • Less likely: 20%
  • Not much impact: 56%
  • DK/NA: 5%

1,193 voters were surveyed nationwide between April 20 -24, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones. Keep in mind, some results are also from states without legal marijuana laws.


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