Republican support for legal marijuana hits a new high

Republican support for legal marijuana hits a new high

For the first time Republicans narrowly support legalizing marijuana

Marijuana is already fully legal for recreational use in four states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Though marijuana remains strictly prohibited according to the letter of federal law, the federal government has effectively let states determine their own policies. A number of other states, including California, are considering initiatives to legalize marijuana this year.  

YouGov's latest research shows that most Americans still support legalization of marijuana, and that support for legalization has increased slightly, from 52% in December 2015 to 55% today. Most of this change is a result of changing attitudes among Republicans. In fact, for the first time, Republicans narrowly tend to support legalization, 45% to 42%. 

In December 2015, Republicans had opposed marijuana legalization by 50% to 36%. Prior to this Republicans support for legalization was even more limited. In January 2014 60% of Republicans opposed legalizing marijuana and only 28% supported legalization. 

Broader attitudes towards marijuana among Republicans are largely unchanged however, indicating that Republican opinion of prohibition is changing not broader attitudes towards marijuana. Notably, while 44% of Republicans viewed marijuana as a gateway to harder drugs in December, this figure is still essentially unchanged at 43% today. 

In December 55% of Republicans thought government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they were worth, something 54% of Republicans still think. 

For full poll results and margin of error see here.