60% of U.S. Voters Believe Cannabis Should Be Legalized

According to a new survey, only 27% of voters oppose its decriminalization.

After President Joe Biden announced on October 6 that he would be pardoning people who were previously federally convicted of simple cannabis possession, there was a general sense for many of hullabaloo. It was a momentous, if mostly symbolic, step forward in the decades-long push to legalize weed in the United States. And according to a recent poll from Morning Consult, the majority of American voters support that.

The intelligence company's new poll commissioned in partnership with Politico showed that 60% of voters support legalization of cannabis. Just 27% of voters think that it should be illegal, while 13% don't have an opinion.

While there's ample support for legalization, it isn't one of the top concerns for most voters heading into the looming midterm elections. Just 19% of voters in the poll listed cannabis legalization as a top priority. Among Democrats and Independents, a clear majority support cannabis legalization. Even among the more conservative Republican Party, 47% of voters support legalization.

The overall percentage of Americans supporting legalization has been a majority of the voting public for a while. In 2021, Gallup reported that 68% of Americans support legalization. Marijuana Movement reports that overall, general acceptance of cannabis has increased across the country.

Legalization would not only make access to weed and cannabis products open for adult use, but it would also have a major impact on incarcerated people. While there is no one currently incarcerated at the federal level for cannabis possession, they are at the state and local levels. The Last Prisoner Project reports that at any given moment there are at least 40,000 people incarcerated for cannabis-related charges in the US. Arrests and convictions disproportionately affect Black people in the US, according to the ACLU.

If you are among the majority of Americans that support cannabis legalization, make sure to check out Thrillist's guide to major cannabis-related issues in the 2022 midterm elections.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.