Pew poll: 39% of GOPers support legalizing pot, 54% say feds should respect state law where pot is legal

posted at 8:41 pm on April 14, 2015 by Allahpundit

It’s an open question right now which position will reach majority support within the Republican Party first, support for legalizing gay marriage or support for legalizing weed. Right now it’s a toss-up, with several polls showing the GOP at around 40 percent on the first issue and Pew showing 39 percent on the second.

I’d bet on marijuana in this case, actually. Between the inevitable Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage this summer and continued leftist jackassery in hassling Christian businesses that object to catering gay weddings, the popularity of SSM within the GOP will probably grow more slowly over the next few years than it has over the past ten.

Nearly six-in-ten Democrats (59%) favor legalizing the use of marijuana, as do 58% of independents. That compares with just 39% of Republicans…

The new survey also finds that as some states have legalized marijuana – placing them at odds with the federal prohibition against marijuana – a majority of Americans (59%) say that the federal government should not enforce laws in states that allow marijuana use; 37% say that they should enforce these laws. Views on federal enforcement of marijuana laws are unchanged since the question was first asked two years ago.

In contrast to overall attitudes about the legal use of marijuana, there are only modest differences in views across partisan groups: 64% of independents, 58% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans say that the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that allow its use.

That last part is good news for the Republican field, which needs a way to please both sides on the legalization question. The left will go all out next year to place referendums on weed on the ballot in various states, especially swing states, knowing that that’ll boost turnout among their base of young adults. Hillary’s charisma won’t get them motivated to go to the polls but legalization might. The GOP nominee will need a way to defuse that issue, at least partially. Federalism on drug laws is the obvious solution and, per Pew, it’s tolerable to a majority of the party’s own supporters. I’d be surprised if there’s a single candidate in the primaries (well, maybe apart from Huck and Santorum) that wants federal drug law enforced even in states where weed is legal.

Take a minute or two to scroll through Pew’s graphs on how opinion on this subject has changed, especially recently. The country had a small surge towards legalization in the late 70s that was tamped down by the “just say no” Reagan Revolution and then glided a bit higher towards a new plateau during the Clinton era. Starting around 2000, though, things really take off.

p1

In 2000, support for legalizing weed among Democrats stood at 29 percent. Fifteen years later, it’s more than doubled to 59 percent. In fact, it’s even more dramatic than that insofar as most of the growth has come after Obama took office — and not just among Democrats. In 2008, just 39 percent of Dems and 23 percent of Republicans backed legalization. Seven years later, Democratic support has jumped 20 points and GOP support has jumped 16. I think that has less to do with an “Obama effect” than with fencesitters watching states experiment with legalization and feeling reassured that it hasn’t unleashed a parade of horribles, but the increase is amazing either way.

No mystery which subgroup is driving it either:

p2

As recently as 2006, Millennials were no more likely than other young-ish demographics to back legalization. They supported it to the tune of 34 percent, the same as Generation Xers and the same as Baby Boomers. Nine years later, their support has fully doubled to 68 percent, more than 16 points higher than the next closest age group. In fact, look closely and you’ll see support among Gen X and the Boomers tailing off slightly just within the last few years. Not among Millennials, though; they’re still rising, albeit at a slower rate. I don’t know what explains that remarkable surge since 2006. Maybe there’s an indirect “Obama effect” in that young adults began to lean left on all sorts of issues and their general political orientation has carried over to marijuana policy. Still, though — 68 percent? Wow.

In lieu of an exit question, here’s one more curious footnote from the poll. There’s virtually no gap between blacks and whites here — 58 percent of the former support legal weed versus 55 percent of the latter — but there’s a major gap between those two groups and Latinos, only 40 percent of whom back legalization (versus 58 percent who oppose it). Latinos are also far less likely to say they’ve tried weed (36 percent) than blacks (50 percent) or whites (52 percent). I don’t think that result can be chalked up to a bad sample either: Other polls have shown Latinos as being cooler to drug legalization. Go figure that on one issue where Latinos might prefer the GOP position, the GOP can’t pander too hard to them for fear of alienating other key voters.


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Comments

If weed is legalized can I sue stores to make them sell it to me?

myiq2xu on April 14, 2015 at 8:43 PM

Leave pot alone and let the smokers toke…

OmahaConservative on April 14, 2015 at 8:45 PM

Legalization is a bad idea. Longterm use lowers IQ, and the ones most likely to use pot longterm don’t have that much IQ to spare.

RBMN on April 14, 2015 at 8:46 PM

Ah good, another “country sliding inexorably leftward” poll. *puts hands to face in mock “Home Alone” fashion*

Still waiting on the thread regarding the poll showing Americans are for more deportation, no welfare and no path to citizenship. Doesn’t fit the theme though, I guess.

Just saying.

Midas on April 14, 2015 at 8:48 PM

It’s an open question right now which position will reach majority support within the Republican Party first

Or ever, for that matter.

Stoic Patriot on April 14, 2015 at 8:50 PM

If weed is legalized can I sue stores to make them sell it to me?

myiq2xu on April 14, 2015 at 8:43 PM

This isn’t getting mentioned and it should be; it’s quite likely once some doper gets the bright idea to copy the fudgepacker’s tactics. And since there’s no ground for a religious freedom defense, they’d probably win if they didn’t screw up the lawsuit themselves.

RBMN on April 14, 2015 at 8:46 PM

And the lower IQ, the more they vote Dem.

Legalize weed nationwide and you hand them another chunk of the populace that you’ll never get back.

LawfulGood on April 14, 2015 at 8:51 PM

Another Barrack is just a toke away…

God love Timothy Leary Trip of of the Month Card…

Electrongod on April 14, 2015 at 8:51 PM

Other polls have shown Latinos as being cooler to drug legalization.

People who come from the narco state don’t want to go back to the narco state. Imagine that.

Stoic Patriot on April 14, 2015 at 8:54 PM

State’s issue. As is prostitution. Nevada, anyone?

John the Libertarian on April 14, 2015 at 8:54 PM

How is a natural plant put on earth by God himself illegal?

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:55 PM

Duuude…

Galtian on April 14, 2015 at 8:55 PM

It’s just a matter of time before Marijuana is legal everywhere and a Corporatist/Government takeover of the industry soon to follow. It’s in Big Brother’s interest to keep us all sedated. We’re easier to control that way. My druggie sister goes to the local public Methadone clinic several times a week. She’s been doing this for 7 years straight and they have no intention of weaning her off. Say what you want about Liberty here, but let’s not pretend that licentiousness and addiction are ‘freedom.’

Corporal Tunnel on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

By the way I’m about to light up another one.

Weedisgood

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

How is a natural plant put on earth by God himself illegal?

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:55 PM

Indeed. It’d be like making it illegal to serve hemlock to people. I mean, c’mon! It’s natural!

Stoic Patriot on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

How is a natural plant put on earth by God himself illegal?

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:55 PM

Are you saying all things placed on this earth by God that are illegal should be legal?

Bmore on April 14, 2015 at 9:00 PM

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

While you’re driving at high speed on an empty road, perchance?

LawfulGood on April 14, 2015 at 9:00 PM

How is a natural plant put on earth by God himself illegal?

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:55 PM

By the way I’m about to light up another one.

Weedisgood

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

You have the card…

right?

Electrongod on April 14, 2015 at 9:01 PM

By the way I’m about to light up another one.

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

I can tell it’s another one.

Bmore on April 14, 2015 at 9:01 PM

Are you saying all things placed on this earth by God that are illegal should be legal?

Bmore on April 14, 2015 at 9:00 PM

But who decides which plant is legal?
Poison Ivy can kill but I don’t see any laws on the books banning people from touching it.

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 9:01 PM

By the way I’m about to light up another one.

Weedisgood

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

I just found out that you are filed with the EPA…

God Speed..

Electrongod on April 14, 2015 at 9:02 PM

How is a natural plant put on earth by God himself illegal?

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:55 PM

Are you saying all things placed on this earth by God that are illegal should be legal?

Bmore on April 14, 2015 at 9:00 PM

He doesn’t know what he’s saying. He’s probably stoned. Potheads will make any rationalization to justify their habit. That’s the nature of addiction.

Corporal Tunnel on April 14, 2015 at 9:02 PM

You have the card…

right?

Electrongod on April 14, 2015 at 9:01 PM

Yes I do have a prescription for it.

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 9:03 PM

Christie was just on Hugh Hewitt’s show saying mary-jane is a gateway drug, and he would aggressively prosecute and super-cede state laws if he were POTUS.

aquaviva on April 14, 2015 at 9:04 PM

Yes I do have a prescription for it. weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 9:03 PM

Then do use a favor ….

Cure yourself!!!!

Electrongod on April 14, 2015 at 9:06 PM

Bad asssss weeeeeeeeed.

Dave’s not here!

Bishop on April 14, 2015 at 9:08 PM

Yes I do have a prescription for it.

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 9:03 PM

For what malady?

wolly4321 on April 14, 2015 at 9:09 PM

This Chooming Poll is all We Weeded Up!!
(sarc)

canopfor on April 14, 2015 at 9:13 PM

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 9:03 PM

For what malady?

wolly4321 on April 14, 2015 at 9:09 PM

wolly4321: I’m thinking, of the condition,

Stoned Upon The Face Upon it!!!!!!!!
(sarc)

canopfor on April 14, 2015 at 9:16 PM

I agree it should be legalized or decriminalized, but the states should not be the place to do it first.

Under our system, federal law takes precedence. Marijuana is currently a Schedule I controlled substance like heroin, morphine, and cocaine. It was put there long ago in a wave of hysteria, but there it is.

Congress should remove it, first, thus leaving the states free to enact their own laws without creating a conflict. Do it the right way.

Nullification is a treacherous path to take.

Adjoran on April 14, 2015 at 9:20 PM

Terry Ann probably wants a joint about now after that big’ol meanie Bmore ran her off today.

wolly4321 on April 14, 2015 at 9:20 PM

Meanwhile, Obama is doing a roadshow version of Woody Allen’s “Bananas“.

Look for him to declare that our new national language shall be Swedish.

The power has gone to his head…”

profitsbeard on April 14, 2015 at 9:22 PM

Indeed. It’d be like making it illegal to serve hemlock to people. I mean, c’mon! It’s natural!

Stoic Patriot on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

Illegal to grow hemlock now, is it?

Might want to let these guys know…

JohnGalt23 on April 14, 2015 at 9:28 PM

Adjoran on April 14, 2015 at 9:20 PM

I think you are missing the point of federalism.

The US Government is free (well, they shouldn’t be, according to the Tenth Amendment, but that is for another day) to pass whatever drug laws they see fit. That does not mean that the states, or the law enforcement authorities they employ, have any responsibility to assist the US Government in the enforcement of that law.

And if such laws crash the respect for and ability of federal law enforcement to do its job, then the USG should figure out a way to regain that respect and competence.

Up to and including full legalization…

JohnGalt23 on April 14, 2015 at 9:33 PM

Indeed. It’d be like making it illegal to serve hemlock to people. I mean, c’mon! It’s natural!

I know, next thing you know they’ll make it illegal to grow opium poppies in your own back yard so you can make your own heroin. Poppies are natural too, after all.

F X Muldoon on April 14, 2015 at 9:33 PM

It’s an open question right now which position will reach majority support within the Republican Party first, support for legalizing gay marriage or support for legalizing weed.

Legalizing gay marriage? The court will take care of that.

Now legalizing weed? How about we let the states decide and get the Feds out of it. No more of this turn a blind eye to what is going on.

chris0christies0donut on April 14, 2015 at 9:40 PM

This nation is so screwed.

lineholder on April 14, 2015 at 9:43 PM

I know, next thing you know they’ll make it illegal to grow opium poppies in your own back yard so you can make your own heroin. Poppies are natural too, after all.

F X Muldoon on April 14, 2015 at 9:33 PM

I’m a little confused as to whether or not it is illegal to grow the poppy used for opium.

chris0christies0donut on April 14, 2015 at 9:45 PM

The country had a small surge towards legalization in the late 70s that was tamped down by the “just say no” Reagan Revolution

Or as we put it at the time, “Just say no.”

Akzed on April 14, 2015 at 9:45 PM

By the way I’m about to light up another one.

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

A friend with weed is a friend indeed!

myiq2xu on April 14, 2015 at 9:46 PM

Or as we put it at the time, “Just say no.”

Akzed on April 14, 2015 at 9:45 PM

We said, “Just say YO!

myiq2xu on April 14, 2015 at 9:48 PM

How is a natural plant put on earth by God himself illegal?

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:55 PM

.
That question only has validity, if you’re asking in reference to the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

And to be honest, I don’t know why that tree was placed there.
.
But in reference to marijuana, ALL plant and animal life has been perverted, since the fall of man. Nothing on earth is in the condition God originally intended for it, when He first created the earth and placed all life upon it.

listens2glenn on April 14, 2015 at 10:00 PM

I agree it should be legalized or decriminalized, but the states should not be the place to do it first.

Adjoran on April 14, 2015 at 9:20 PM

The federal government never passed a constitutional amendment banning MJ so they have to legal authority. The War On Drugs relied on the cooperation of the states, and my state and others are no longer cooperating as per the will of the people.

FloatingRock on April 14, 2015 at 10:03 PM

to = no, as in no legal authority.

FloatingRock on April 14, 2015 at 10:03 PM

I hope a conservative Republican wins the 2016 election so it can be “alright” to be a Republican again. Republicans need to stop feeling compelled to lie to pollsters about how moderate they are.

jas88 on April 14, 2015 at 10:07 PM

Under our system, federal law takes precedence.
Nullification is a treacherous path to take.

Adjoran on April 14, 2015 at 9:20 PM

.
“Federal law” not outlined in the Constitution, is illegitimate, and does NOT take precedence over the states.

The problem has been that for the last seventy or so years, no one has been willing to enforce law against the Federal Government, except in an instance where some states were actually in the wrong wrong :

To wit … state enforced ethnic segregation, and ethnicity based social status.

listens2glenn on April 14, 2015 at 10:13 PM

How is a natural plant put on earth by God himself illegal?

Like the cacao plant, or the opium poppy? This poster is 12-years-old.

John the Libertarian on April 14, 2015 at 10:26 PM

. . . . . It’s in Big Brother’s interest to keep us all sedated. We’re easier to control that way . . . . .

Corporal Tunnel on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

.
That says it all, and is right-on.
.

. . . . . Say what you want about Liberty here, but let’s not pretend that licentiousness and addiction are ‘freedom.’

Corporal Tunnel on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

.
I’ll expound on that, and say the hedonistic (non-medical) use of chemicals to artificially induce a sensation of pleasure in one’s neurological system, is NOT “freedom.”

It’s just a different kind of bondage, that feels sooo GOOD…
.
But if you are someone experiencing extreme pain, due to a genuine medical condition/situation, then such chemicals should be used under the supervision of a doctor, including marijuana.

listens2glenn on April 14, 2015 at 10:30 PM

Legalization is a bad idea. Longterm use lowers IQ, and the ones most likely to use pot longterm don’t have that much IQ to spare.

RBMN on April 14, 2015 at 8:46 PM

So we should outlaw alcohol too, right?

Tlaloc on April 14, 2015 at 10:31 PM

jas88 on April 14, 2015 at 10:07 PM

You remind me of a large river in Egypt.

The truth is that MJ prohibition was motivated by racism, cronyism and intolerance and was sold on a bed of lies to promote fascism. The lies were exposed generations ago and only the oldest Americans still believe all the hysterical reefer madness propaganda. Even the more modern propaganda, still based on lies, misrepresentations and hyperbole, has been seen through for generations. As older generations die off the trend is inexorably toward legalization. Unless MJ prohibitionists can kill the Internet and bring about a new dark age in which they control access to information again, they aren’t going to pull the wool over peoples eyes again no matter how hard they try. MJ prohibition is a lost cause, the genie can’t be put back in the bottle. The only path forward for MJ prohibitionists who want to pee into the wind is totalitarianism.

FloatingRock on April 14, 2015 at 10:32 PM

By the way I’m about to light up another one.

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

And nobody cares, but do keep posting, it reveals why people hate stoners.

nobar on April 14, 2015 at 10:32 PM

He doesn’t know what he’s saying. He’s probably stoned. Potheads will make any rationalization to justify their habit. That’s the nature of addiction.

Corporal Tunnel on April 14, 2015 at 9:02 PM

Um, pot is not physically addicting. You should know that reefer madness was wildly inaccurate.

Tlaloc on April 14, 2015 at 10:32 PM

I’m a little confused as to whether or not it is illegal to grow the poppy used for opium.

It is illegal in the US to cultivate, as in grow with the express purpose of collecting the latex of, Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy.

F X Muldoon on April 14, 2015 at 10:35 PM

How is a natural plant put on earth by God himself illegal?

weedisgood on April 14, 2015 at 8:55 PM

How did we get to the point where we decided that a sky pappy had the answers to all questions regarding life?

weedisgood on April 1, 2015 at 5:26 PM

son of a preacher man on April 14, 2015 at 10:36 PM

Unfortunately totalitarians are already in control and if they want to take the jackboot path and impose their will against the people then they have that power. My advice is to vote against fascism and file MJ prohibition in the dustbin of history where it belongs.

FloatingRock on April 14, 2015 at 10:37 PM

How did we get to the point where we decided that a sky pappy had the answers to all questions regarding life?

weedisgood on April 1, 2015 at 5:26 PM

As if you even ask.

Cleombrotus on April 14, 2015 at 10:44 PM

PeedHisFood. Ha ha!!! Poison ivy was put on earth by god too. Wipe your azz with it next time you take a sheet!!

elvis lives on April 14, 2015 at 10:54 PM

How did we get to the point where we decided that a sky pappy had the answers to all questions regarding life?

weedisgood on April 1, 2015 at 5:26 PM

Hell, as if he even knows what they are.

Cleombrotus on April 14, 2015 at 10:54 PM

PeedHisFood spouts about God when it comes time to defend marijuana. Then spends the rest of his time denigrating him. Hypocritical douchebag….

elvis lives on April 14, 2015 at 10:56 PM

Tlaloc….yeah right. Pot isnt physically addictive to a pothead just like twinkies arent physically addictive to a fat azzhole on welfare.

elvis lives on April 14, 2015 at 11:27 PM

Um, pot is not physically addicting. You should know that reefer madness was wildly inaccurate.

Tlaloc on April 14, 2015 at 10:32 PM

Potheads are among the most obsessive users of any drug. Even though Obsession is a huge problem among Potheads, they also have all the classic hallmarks of addiction, as well.

‘Reefer Madness’ is a Red Herring and a Straw Man. It is irrelevant to any honest discussion on MJ Addiction.

Corporal Tunnel on April 14, 2015 at 11:56 PM

Potheads are among the most obsessive users of any drug. Even though Obsession is a huge problem among Potheads, they also have all the classic hallmarks of addiction, as well.

‘Reefer Madness’ is a Red Herring and a Straw Man. It is irrelevant to any honest discussion on MJ Addiction.

Corporal Tunnel on April 14, 2015 at 11:56 PM

So you’ve never seen a heroin, crack, coke, meth, or nicotine addict. Okay, then.

Tlaloc on April 15, 2015 at 12:05 AM

I don’t smoke weed any more, I haven’t since high school but even then I can’t ever remember a conversation going “Hey, I wish we could get high but weed is illegal and we can’t find it anywhere” Honestly, Weed was easier to get then liquor. I remember in high school we’d try to get some one 21 to buy us alcohol and usually failed at the task but weed….never an issue.

Weed is now here legal in WA state and we seem to be doing just fine.

Politricks on April 15, 2015 at 12:19 AM

Dems want Pot legal everywhere because it expands their base. The more brain dead voters there are, the more likely they are to vote democrat.

Everywhere it has been legalized it has been a disaster.

Colorado is the case and point. It hasn’t gotten rid of the black market, violet crime has increased, and SURPRISE it hasn’t generated the tax money to grow the government even bigger that was promised.

nazo311 on April 15, 2015 at 12:46 AM

So we should outlaw alcohol too, right?

Tlaloc on April 14, 2015 at 10:31 PM

At least raising the drinking age should be considered.

nazo311 on April 15, 2015 at 12:47 AM

God made weed so that man could make it illegal for another man to consume it.

Brilliant!

mazer9 on April 15, 2015 at 4:04 AM

Christie was just on Hugh Hewitt’s show saying mary-jane is a gateway drug, and he would aggressively prosecute and super-cede state laws if he were POTUS.

aquaviva on April 14, 2015 at 9:04 PM

Lol on that.

Christie is a big govt idiot.

Here’s the donuts for brains numbskull reciting the leftist talking points on climate change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPxDnb2-aVI&info=ChristieGoesLeftOnClimateChange

anotherJoe on April 15, 2015 at 4:14 AM

The article assumes that the candidacies of Huckabee and Santorum won’t change public opinion. I would dispute that.

gocatholic on April 15, 2015 at 6:48 AM

I would have far less issue with dopers, drunks and addicts being legally able to use chemicals to destroy themselves if I also wasn’t forced to contribute to their upkeep while doing so.

There was a reason why our society was not overly burdened with addicts back in the days when you could order laudanum and coca extract from the Sears and Roebuck catalog.

Dolce Far Niente on April 15, 2015 at 9:31 AM

God made weed so that man could make it illegal for another man to consume it.
Brilliant!
mazer9 on April 15, 2015 at 4:04 AM

So you think cocaine, heroin, morphine, psylocybin, peyote should all be legal since they are plants that God made (who you pretend not to believe in)?

We know… you hate God and anyone who believes in Him is an idiot in your opinion and any law you disagree with must have been made by a Jew or Christian.

Neitherleftorright on April 15, 2015 at 1:49 PM

All of sudden liberals are for state rights.
Not abortion though; ObamaCare; Securing state boarders from illegals….

Jpalm32 on April 15, 2015 at 2:04 PM

I would have far less issue with dopers, drunks and addicts being legally able to use chemicals to destroy themselves if I also wasn’t forced to contribute to their upkeep while doing so.

Dolce Far Niente on April 15, 2015 at 9:31 AM

Exactly. As long as taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for it, I stand by the same argument I have had for a long time: Show me how it “picks your pocket or breaks your leg.” And if you succeed in that, show me how it does it in a way that doesn’t apply equally to (perfectly legal) alcohol and/or (perfectly legal) tobacco.

To be honest, I firmly believe that the only reason those two are legal and most or all other “recreational drugs” are not is because tobacco and alcohol have been the lobbyists’ and legislators’ recreational drugs of choice for a few hundred and a few thousand years respectively.

Is it an “addictive behavior”? Well, yeah… but there are a whole lot of those that are legal, too. Gonna outlaw casinos and lotteries?

Equality under the law matters, even when you personally don’t care for the result.

GrumpyOldFart on April 15, 2015 at 4:29 PM