A poll by USA Today/Ipsos conducted Oct. 7-9 shows that two-thirds of American adults aged 18 years and older support President Joe Biden’s three-step cannabis reform plan.  

Biden announced his three-step cannabis reform plan Oct. 6, which includes pardoning all federal offenses for simple cannabis possession, requesting a review of how cannabis is scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act, and urging governors to pardon state-level offenses of simple cannabis possession.

Ipsos interviewed 283 Republicans, 325 Democrats, and 315 independents online across the U.S., Alaska and Hawaii for the study. The results show the average percentage among all respondents and individual percentages for Republicans, Democrats and independents. 

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of total respondents support changing how cannabis is classified under federal law and removing it as a Schedule I drug, while roughly two-thirds (67%) of total respondents support pardoning or forgiving all prior federal convictions for cannabis possession.

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Forty-four percent of Republicans responded in favor of governors pardoning or forgiving state-level convictions for cannabis possession compared to Democrats at 83% and independents at 71%. Eighty-one percent of Democrats support releasing individuals in federal jail who are serving time for using or possessing cannabis, similar to independents at 72% and nearly double compared to Republicans at 42%

Eighty-two percent of Democrats and 64% of independents said they believe decriminalizing cannabis is a crucial step in correcting past racial justices in our judicial system, compared to Republicans at 32%.

Sixty-three percent of Republicans also voted that they believe decriminalizing cannabis would lead to increased crime, drug trafficking, and underage use, compared to Democrats at 17% and independents at 30%.

Overall, the poll indicates that “Democrats and independents alike strongly support elements of Biden’s announcement, as well as releasing all individuals in state or federal jail who are serving time for cannabis possession, while most Republicans oppose,” according to the findings.

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