More than three quarters (76%) of Republican voters agree the federal government should not interfere with individual states’ decisions to legalize cannabis, and should instead remove obstacles to legalization, according to a national poll released Sept. 14.
The poll was conducted by Republican pollster Fabrizio, Lee & Associates on behalf of the National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR).
A similar percentage (73%) of Republicans agree legal cannabis businesses should be entitled to the same rights as other legal businesses. That same percentage of Republicans also support legalizing cannabis for medical purposes, according to the poll.
Additional findings from the poll include 65% of Republicans in favor of legal cannabis companies having access to banking systems like any other legal business, and 56% supporting cannabis conviction expungements in now-legal adult-use states. A slight majority (51%) of Republicans say legal cannabis companies should have access to capital markets and be able to sell stock and be listed on stock exchanges.
On the topic of adult-use legalization, Republican voters were just about split with 47% supporting adult-use legalization and 46% opposing.
“These findings support what I’ve been saying for years: cannabis is no longer the partisan issue it once was,” said Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. “Congress needs to act in a bipartisan manner and enact the change that Americans, both Republicans and Democrats alike, are calling for. It’s past time for the federal government to respect the will of the states that have legalized cannabis in some form and allow them to make their own decisions in the best interest of their constituents without interference from Washington.”
The poll signifies Republicans’ support for cannabis ahead of the upcoming congressional midterm elections this November.
“There’s been a massive shift in opinion, and it’s evidently clear that Republicans have extremely positive attitudes towards legal cannabis,” said former Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., an NCR advisory board member. “We’ll likely see support for legal cannabis continue to increase this November when Republicans in at least a half dozen states and counties vote on legalization and other issues. Which is why it’s time for Congress to enact common sense cannabis reform this year, starting with key pieces of legislation like SAFE Banking and CLIMB.”