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Poll: More Republicans Supporting Legalization, Barely

According to a recent YouGov poll, Republicans narrowly support marijuana legalization 45 to 42 percent, up from 36 percent in Dec. 2015.

Democrats supported legalization 63 to 25 percent, with Independents endorsing cannabis legalization 55 to 33 percent. In sum, the July 17-18 poll found 55 percent of respondents supported legalization, compared to 33 percent opposed.

The attitudes of Republicans did not change much regarding their views on cannabis as a gateway drug, with 43 percent indicating as much. That figure was 44 percent in the December poll. However, the majority of GOP party members polled – 55 percent – believe that enforcing marijuana laws cost more than they are worth, up 1 percent from December.

The poll results come as Republican legislative leaders in Texas are considering decriminalization measures and have added medical cannabis improvements to their party platform.

Despite the positive steps in Texas, however, Republican delegates voted not to endorse medical cannabis as part of their platform during discussions at their convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Voters in Arkansas, a historically blue state with a Republican governor, will vote on legalizing cannabis for medicinal use this November. Efforts in Mississippi to legalize cannabis for recreational use, and in Oklahoma allowing for medical cannabis, both failed to gain enough support to qualify for the upcoming ballot.

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