A new Hill-HarrisX poll found just 25% of U.S. registered voters wanted cannabis to remain outlawed, while 38% said legalization should be up to the states and 37% preferring the reforms to be enacted federally.
More Democrats (48%) preferred federal action to state-level reforms (36%), while 16% opposed legalization entirely. The majority of Republicans supported leaving the decision to the states (39%), with 27% preferring federal reforms, while 34% opposed legalization. Independents were split 38% to 36% for their support of federal legalization and state legalization, respectively, with 26% in opposing the reforms entirely.
The survey, which was conducted March 24-26 and included 1,882 registered voters, was published the day New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed cannabis legalization legislation and one day prior to New Mexico lawmakers approving the reforms in a special session.
A Gallup poll last year found its strongest support for broad, nationwide, cannabis legalization ever at 68% since the pollster began asking the question in 1969. That poll found support from 83% of Democrats, 72% of independents, and 48% of Republicans.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday that legislation would be introduced soon to decriminalize cannabis federally.
Several statewide polls this year in states where cannabis remains prohibited have also found strong support for the reforms, including an Elon University poll that found 54% support among North Carolina residents (34% opposed and 12% unsure); a University of Texas and Texas Tribune survey that found 60% of Texans support legalizing possession of either small amounts of cannabis or any amount for any use; and a JMC Analytics and Polling survey that found 67% of Louisianans backed the reforms.
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