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Fox News: Support for Cannabis Legalization at Record High

February 9, 2018

If there’s one cable channel that’s shown it can influence the White House policy agenda, it’s Fox News. While the president has decried most media outlets as “fake news,” he’s shown an affinity for the conservative outlet, regularly tweeting things, for example, that he sees on shows like Fox & Friends—a morning show that media outlet Vox has dubbed “Donald Trump’s posse.” (The New Yorker says the show “rewrites Trump’s reality.”)

The Trump administration’s stance on cannabis is increasingly at odds with that of American voters.

A new Fox News poll, however, shows that when it comes to cannabis, the Trump administration’s stance is increasingly at odds with that of American voters. Survey results released this week found that a record 59% of US voters now favor legalizing the plant.

The poll also found record-low opposition to legalization. Less than a third (32%) of those surveyed said they were against cannabis legalization.

(Fox News)

Democrats and Independents were the most likely groups to support legalization (68% and 67% support, respectively), as were millennials (72%). Republican voters were split, with 46% of respondents for legalization and 46% against.

(Fox News)

Even groups that have historically opposed legalization are quickly moving toward acceptance, Fox News reports:

Majorities of very conservative voters (61 percent) and white evangelical Christians (53 percent) oppose legalization. However, opposition among those groups is down 14 and 16 points, respectively, from five years ago.

“This is a massive shift in opinion over a very short period,” Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducted the poll with Republican Daron Shaw, told Fox. “As more states legalize marijuana without the negative consequences opponents have warned about, support will likely continue to increase.”

Shaw, the Republican pollster, observed the “growing percentage of people who say they support legalizing marijuana, especially among those under 30,” adding that in light of those numbers, “it’s obvious why the Democrats are anxious to get pot initiatives on the ballot.”

(In an analysis of 2016 election data, Leafly News found that a number of deeply red districts that voted overwhelmingly for Trump also came out in force to support legalization. In Union County, Florida, for example, 80% of voters cast their ballots for Trump and 65% voted to legalize medical cannabis. The trend was evident in many states with legalization measures on their 2016 ballots.)

Will the poll results push the Trump administration to ease up on legal cannabis? That’s optimistic. The president hasn’t exactly shown a strong tendency to tailor his positions to poll numbers. But with the news of record support for legalization being broadcast on the commander-in-chief’s channel of choice, there’s at least a chance he saw it.

The full Fox News can be found here as a PDF.

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Ben Adlin

Ben Adlin is a Seattle-based writer and editor who specializes in cannabis politics and law. He was a news editor for Leafly from 2015-2019. Follow him on Twitter: @badlin

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