Poll: Democrats, Younger Voters Say Federal Lawmakers Should Prioritize Cannabis Legalization

Washington, DC: The majority of Democrats, African Americans, and younger voters believe that federal action on cannabis should be among Congress’ “top” or more “important” legislative priorities, according to national polling data providing by Morning Consult and Politico

When surveyed on the question of what issues ought to be prioritized by Congress, 63 percent of Black voters said that “passing a bill to legalize marijuana” should be either a “top” or “important priority.” The majority of voters ages 18 to 34 (53 percent), and Democrats (52 percent) also expressed support for prioritizing legalization.

By contrast, only 29 percent of Republican voters expressed a similar attitude.

Overall, 41 percent of voters said that federal lawmakers ought to prioritize legalizing cannabis. 

Legislation (The MORE Act) to remove cannabis from the US Controlled Substances Act and to explicitly permit financial institutions to service state-licensed cannabis businesses (The SAFE Banking Act) have been passed by the Democrat-led House in recent months, but neither effort has ever been advanced in the US Senate. Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has repeatedly promised to introduce his own comprehensive reform legislation, but he has yet to do so. 

During his Presidential campaign, Joe Biden repeatedly pledged that he would take steps to end federal marijuana prohibition and that he would move to expunge the records of those with marijuana convictions. However, the White House has yet to take any executive action following through on those campaign promises. According to recent polling compiled by YouGov.com, nearly 60 percent of Americans doubt the President intends to make any effort to advance marijuana-specific  issues in 2022. 

The Morning Consult/Politico polling data is available online.