Poll: Voters Agree With State Marijuana Laws, Less Federal Regulation

| by Ethan Brown

A new poll of Democratic and Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire show a bipartisan consensus of allowing states to legislate and regulate medical and recreational marijuana laws and usage, rather than allow the federal government to intervene.

The poll, conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling and commissioned by reform group Marijuana Majority, shows that 64 percent of GOP voters in Iowa do not believe the federal government should regulate marijuana laws in the state. Of those polled, 21 percent feel the feds should be able to arrest and prosecute those who commit a crime related to possessing or using the drug, The Washington Post noted.

In the northeast, New Hampshire Republicans agreed even more strongly, with 67 percent saying states should be allowed to regulate their own marijuana laws.

“We put these polls into the field because we want presidential candidates to understand that the voters in these key states — who they need support from to win — overwhelmingly want the next occupant of the Oval Office to scale back federal marijuana prohibition,” Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, said in a statement.

Republican presidential contenders New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio have both been vocal about enforcing federal marijuana laws, which classify the substance as a Schedule 1 drug along with heroin and LSD. Last month, Christie spoke to a New Hampshire crowd about what his administration’s policies would be regarding marijuana.

“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it. As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws,” he said. Rubio has stated that federal law should be “enforced” in terms of prosecuting those who are using the drug illegally. Most recently, Rubio said, “I believe the federal government needs to enforce federal law.”

You can view the entire poll results here, which include statistics on gender, political affiliation and the 2012 presidential election.

Sources: The Washington Post, Public Policy Polling / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Hendrike