Over half of US states have enacted laws legalizing some form of marijuana use — either medical or recreational, or both in the cases of Colorado and Washington.
And Americans, as a unified group, favour marijuana legalization.
When asked by Pew Research, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not?”, a whopping 57% answered yes (while just 37% responded with no).
Even when you break down Americans by age groups, every demographic from Millennials (18- to 35-year-olds) to Baby Boomers (52- to 70-year-olds) supports legalization.
Only one group opposes legalization — the so-called “Silent” generation (71-88-year-olds) oppose legalization 59% against to 33% in favour.
Things break apart when you start looking at people by political affiliation.
“Most Republicans (55%) oppose marijuana legalization, while 41% favour it,” Pew’s latest poll found.
Democrats, overwhelmingly, support legalization — 66% of Democratic respondents said they favour legalization, while just 30% oppose.
Notoriously, neither candidate for president favours marijuana legalization.
Clinton favours the re-classification of marijuana, but she’s not in favour of outright legalization for medical or recreational use. As Clinton’s website states: “She believes we should use alternatives to incarceration for low-level, nonviolent marijuana users, and she will reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance.”
Trump has publicly supported medical marijuana throughout his campaign, but his policy on marijuana has shifted from one of pro-legalization to something a bit more cautious. Trump explained his approach to marijuana legalization to ABC News’ Martha Raddatz in a November 2015 interview:
“It’s something that I’ve always said maybe it has to be looked at because we do such a poor job of policing. We don’t want to build walls. We don’t want to do anything. And if you’re not going to want to do the policing, you’re going to have to start thinking about other alternatives. But it’s not something that I would want to do.”
Regardless of the political demographics tied to marijuana legalization on a nation-wide scale, individual US states are already making moves toward legalization. A whopping nine states will vote this November on initiatives to legalise some form of marijuana use — five of those states are voting on full-on recreational legalization.