We have been watching an extraordinary shift in public opinion over the last decade on the legalization of marijuana. With millions of citizens now using marijuana either medically or recreationally, the public appears ready to see nationwide legalization. The huge tax benefits from legalization and the rapidly expanding market appears to have adding to the support for legalization. This polls is just a few percent lower in support than a recent Harvard poll showing 68 percent support for legalization.
A new Gallup poll shows 64 percent of the country now supportive of marijuana legalization. There are few national issues with such a super majority of support. This is the highest level of support registered in nearly a half century of polling. It is 14 points above the level of support shown in 2011 and a four percent jump in just one year.
Now here is the really astonishing part. For the first time, a majority of Republicans favor legalization at 51 percent.
The issue could come before Congress. Members are concerned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions could order a crackdown on marijuana. Sessions has long advocated tougher enforcement against marijuana and recently indicated that he might prioritize the issue — even though many of the legalization states are GOP controlled. These poll numbers may magnify the view of GOP members that this is the last thing the Administration would take on at this time. Not only would a crackdown deny states badly needed taxes, but it would add one more controversies to an already overloaded Administration.
What do you think?