Could marijuana legalization swing voters to Joe Biden?

Marijuana legalization could become a key factor in convincing voters.

In April, Senator Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden announced they would form policy task forces around key issues in the upcoming 2020 election. The news coincided with Sanders formally endorsing Biden, with speculation suggesting Sanders could push Biden toward marijuana legalization.

In a recent interview, Sanders declined to include the issue as policies Biden would potentially adopt.

Data suggests that decision might be a mistake, as cannabis legalization could become a key factor in convincing swing voters to Biden’s side. More than two-thirds of the country supports ending cannabis prohibition, Pew Research found. It’s among the few issues that has support across the political spectrum — the majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents all believe marijuana should be made legal.

Cannabis also bridges generational divides among voters, with Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers supporting legalization in majority as well. Only the Silent Generation, or those 75 years and older, does not.

As the Washington Post first pointed out, cannabis legalization is popular in several battleground states that could play a pivotal role in swinging the 2020 election. The polling firm Civiqs has acquired data from 140,000 registered voters over the past several years about issues like marijuana legalization. In every state, 50 per cent of voters or more said cannabis use should be legal. Minnesota and New Hampshire, both key states in the 2020 election, had 65 per cent and 67 per cent of voters support legalization, respectively.

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston, Texas, U.S., Sept. 12, 2019. / Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake


This comes into play when you analyze the analytics behind swing voters. UCLA/Nationscape has polled more than 200,000 registered voters since the summer of 2019. Their numbers can pinpoint small, but significant, groups like independents who don’t affiliate with either major party, as well as those undecided about choosing President Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the election. In over a two to one margin, those independent and undecided voters back marijuana legalization.

Throughout his campaign, Biden has remained steadfast in his marijuana policy. He will decriminalize the plant and change it to a Schedule II drug in the Controlled Substances Act, allowing scientists to more openly study effects of cannabis consumption. Should he change his mind, it just might help him win the election.


The, a U.S. lifestyle site that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.

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