Most Voters Disagree With Sessions On Marijuana

By on January 12, 2018

A recent Quinnipiac Poll suggests that a large percentage of American voters aren’t exactly on board with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ newly declared war on legalized marijuana.

The recent survey shows that 70 percent of voters are against cracking down on federal marijuana laws in states where medical and/or recreational use of the drug has been legalized. Additionally, 58 percent of voters are in favor of completely legalizing the drug, with nearly 80 percent of that group consisting of voters between the ages of 18-34.

Last week, Sessions ordered the Department of Justice to roll back the instructions outlined in the Cole memo that guided U.S. attorneys not to prosecute marijuana-related cases in states that had legalized the drug. Since then, several lawmakers in states that have legalized marijuana have spoken out against Sessions. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has even gone so far as to say he will hold up all Department of Justice nominees until the AG backs down.

While the Cole memo was in effect, states such as Colorado and Washington benefitted greatly from tax revenues generated by legalized marijuana. Other states are looking to get in on the action, with California being the largest (and potentially the most lucrative) of the new players. As the potential for increased tax revenue and more jobs makes marijuana more lucrative to those looking for solutions in cash-strapped states, the tougher the time government is going to have holding back the tide of popular support for legalization.

This recent poll suggests that the popularity of marijuana is starting to become an unstoppable force among younger voters. Along with net neutrality, legalization is becoming one of the core issues of the progressive movement, not just for economic purposes, but also because enforcement of anti-marijuana laws tends to disproportionately target people of color, making it a social justice issue as well.