By Emily Ledger
A majority of US citizens would be willing to vote for a politician who occasionally consumes cannabis in their free time, the results of a recent survey show.
The YouGov survey, which included responses from 4,096 adults from the US, follows the recent ad campaign of Democrat Senate candidate Gary Chambers Jr, in which he can be seen smoking a cannabis ‘blunt’. In the campaign ad, Mr Chambers Jr discusses the harmful results of prohibition, including racial disparities in enforcement of the law.
The survey revealed that over half (58%) of participants would be willing to vote for a politician they agreed with on most topics – even if they “occasionally smoke marijuana in their free time”.
In comparison, only 21% of all participants said that they would not be willing to vote for such a candidate.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Democrat voters were more likely to be okay with voting for a politician who smokes cannabis. The results showed that 68% of Democrats would while only 15% wouldn’t vote for the candidate.
However, a majority of Republicans also reported that they would be fine with voting for a casual cannabis smoker: 47% of Republican voters reported that they would vote for such a candidate, in comparison to 34% who said that they would not.
The survey demonstrates the latest proof of changing attitudes towards cannabis law in the US. Over the last two years, support for the federal legalisation of cannabis has remained strong, with over two-thirds of Americans in favour, according to two surveys by Gallup.
Other surveys have found similar results, including a recent survey funded by the prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). It found that a significant majority of Americans believe that cannabis should be legal for either medical or recreational use.
Despite this indisputable support among the public, however, President Biden is yet to act on apparent promises made during his election campaign.
A YouGov poll published last week revealed that a majority of Americans believe that President Biden has done “little to nothing” to progress proposed cannabis reforms. A majority reportedly also do not expect that Mr Biden will keep promises he made during the election campaign in regards to cannabis reforms.
Nonetheless, even if federal cannabis reforms are not expected in the near future, a number of states are still looking to progress their own cannabis legislation. For example, South Dakota, Pennsylvania and Mississippi lawmakers are continuing to push for the progression of medical cannabis bills, including allowing medical cannabis patients to grow their own plants.