Support for legal cannabis continues to grow among Republican voters, a new poll found.
More than three quarters (76%) of GOP voters agree that if states legalize cannabis, the federal government should step aside and remove any obstacles, according to a Fabrizio, Lee & Associates (FLA) survey on behalf of the National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR).
The poll also found that 73% of Republicans favor legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.
The same percentage (73%) of GOP voters agree that legal cannabis businesses should be entitled to the same rights — such as access to banking services and U.S. stock exchanges — as other legal businesses.
"There’s been a massive shift in opinion, and its 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 commonsense cannabis reform this year, starting with key pieces of legislation like SAFE Banking and CLIMB."
The bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., has passed the U.S. House six times, most recently in Feb. 2022.
CLIMB, the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses act was introduced by Reps. Troy Carter, D-La., and Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., in June 2022.
The poll also found that 58% of respondents said the states, not the federal government, should be responsible for cannabis legalization.
The survey, conducted among 1,000 self-reported GOP voters Aug. 15-21, also found:
- 69% favor sentence reviews for people convicted of nonviolent cannabis crimes in states where cannabis is now legal for adult use.
- 65% say that legal cannabis companies should have access to the banking system and be able to open and use bank accounts like any other legal business.
- 56% favor expunging cannabis convictions from a person's record if adult use cannabis is now legal in their state.
- 47% have used cannabis recreationally, for medicinal purposes or both.
"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 also found that GOP voters are split 47%-46% on legalizing cannabis for adult use.
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