We’ve already seen how front and center cannabis will be in the upcoming 2020 election. One of the prominent questions candidates have been asked in early interviews is where they stand on cannabis reform. (Or they’re asked whether they have smoked cannabis before or not, as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was, resulting in the dumbest political controversy of 2019.)
While the Democratic party is generally considered the liberal party compared to Republicans, who are more associated with conservative attitudes, a range of conservative liberal ideologies lies amongst each party. But according to a new Gallup Poll, an overwhelming majority of all Democrats now support cannabis legalization at the federal level.
Part of that is because more Democrats associate with a liberal political ideology than ever before. Gallup documented this shift by pinpointing three different recent time periods and watching how attitudes have changed over that time. The breakdown of periods goes like this: 2001-2006, 2007-2012, and 2013-2018.
“The percentage of Democrats identifying as politically liberal averaged 32% in the first period, 39% in the second and 46% in the third,” writes Gallup. “At the same time, the percentages identifying as conservative and moderate fell equally.”
Between 2001-2006, only 27 percent of moderate Democrats supported marijuana legalization. The number sharply rose between 2007-2012, when 53 percent of moderates identified as supporting marijuana legalization. That number continued to rise and reached 62 percent in 2013-2018.
More than half of liberal Democrats supported marijuana legalization throughout each time period. The number did receive a jump from 2001-2006, when 69 percent believed in marijuana legalization, to 2013-2018, when the number reached 81 percent. Conservative Democrats saw a less significant jump, with only a 15 percent increase since 2001-2006, when 29 percent of conservative Democrats supported marijuana legalization.
A Gallup Poll last year stated that two in every three Americans now supported cannabis legalization. As we approach the 2020 election, those Americans will likely make sure their voices are heard.