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GOP Congressional Lawmakers Tout Poll Showing Republican Voters Back Federal Marijuana Legalization

Published February 23, 2023

By Tom Angell

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Three Republican members of Congress are celebrating the results of a new poll showing that more than two-thirds of likely 2024 GOP presidential primary and caucus voters support federally legalizing marijuana so that states can make their own decisions on the issue.

The survey, released on Wednesday by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), found that 68 percent of respondents back ending federal marijuana prohibition. There was majority support across age, gender, educational and religious groups.

The new survey from CPEAR, which is funded by several alcohol and tobacco companies, included a separate question similarly finding that 70 percent support “allowing individual states to decide whether cannabis will be legal in their state.”

GOP lawmakers who have championed marijuana reform in Congress are welcoming the results.

“The polling is clear: federal cannabis prohibition is in direct contradiction to the overwhelming will of the American electorate, including a notable majority of conservative voters,” Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), who is a co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said. “I hope more of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will heed the call of their constituents and join me in working towards a safe and effectively regulated legal marketplace that respects the rights of the over 40 states that have enacted some varying degree of legality. Continued inaction is no longer tenable.”

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), who is another Cannabis Caucus co-chair, said that the survey result “isn’t surprising,” pointing to conservatives’ belief in states’ rights.