Poll: Republican voters now in favor of marijuana reform

By Oscar Pascual |

The vast majority of voters in two presidential primary states believe that the next president shouldn’t interfere with state marijuana reform, a recent poll reveals.

Conducted by advocacy group the Marijuana Majority, the new poll shows finds that 67 percent of Republicans in New Hampshire and 64 percent in Iowa wants the next president to respect state-mandated marijuana laws free of federal interference.

It’s not only the Republicans in the two states, but voters in general who agree with this sentiment, as 71 percent of all Iowan voters and 73 percent of Vermont agree that the next president must respect state marijuana legislation.

“Our poll shows that across party lines, and regardless of personal support for legalization, the vast majority of voters simply want the feds to get out of the way and let states implement their own reforms without harassment,” Marijuana Majority Chairman Tom Angell told Rolling Stone. “For Democrats – who polls show overwhelmingly support legalization – this means giving states a chance to show that legalization actually works well. For Republicans – who aren’t as hot on legalization, according to polls – this means extending the cherished principle of states’ rights and a smaller federal government even in areas where they personally don’t support the policy proposal at hand.”

The recent findings may come as good news to candidates such as Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, who both have embraced the issue of cannabis reform. However, the news might be disconcerting to the likes of Republican presidential hopefuls Chris Christie and Marco Rubio, who both have taken a hard-line stance against states’ rights to legalize marijuana.

“These results clearly show that it’s just bad politics for presidential candidates to go around saying they’d send in the DEA to arrest growers, sellers and users in states where marijuana is legal,” Angell told Rolling Stone. “Whereas supporting legalization used to be seen as a dangerous third rail of politics, it’s now mainstream and in many cases is much more popular with voters than most elected officials are. Blocking legalization is the big political loser these days.”

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