A new survey published by the Pew Research Center shows that almost two-thirds of younger Republicans support the legalization of cannabis. Among the Millennial generation, which the Pew Research Center defines as anyone born between the years of 1981 and 1996, there is a 14 percent gap between Republicans and Democrats in their support for the legalization of marijuana. Within this age group, 63 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats believe that marijuana and cannabis should be legalized within the United States.
Compared to GOP members who fall under the classification of Generation X (those born between the years of 1965 and 1980), there is a 16 percent gap between them and their younger counterparts. There is also a large gap between the two generations amongst Democrats. Between the Millennial and Gen-X age groups, there is an 11 percent gap for the Democratic Party, with only 61 percent of Democrats from Gen-X claiming that they are in favor cannabis legalization.
These statistics hold a great amount of potential for the future development cannabis from a political standpoint.
The Pew Research Center explains the significance of this data: “The debate over marijuana also comes ahead of the 2016 presidential election, when both political parties are fighting over the coveted Millennial vote as this group of eligible voters swells in size, even if its members do not consistently show up on Election Day.”
Pew reported that a study conducted in February 2014 shows that over half (54 percent, currently) of Americans believe that if legalization is passed, there will be an increase in the amount of underage consumption of the substance. However, the study also explains that an overarching amount of Americans still believe that marijuana is a less harmful drug than alcohol. About 76 percent of Americans also believe people who are convicted of carrying small amounts of marijuana should not be required to serve jail time.
With the 2016 election season just around the corner and more of the Millennial voters being in favor of legalizing marijuana, it’s clear that the days of marijuana prohibition are numbered. This new generation of young voters may have what it takes to bring forth a new era of cannabis legislation.
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