The political consensus on cannabis is taking a surprising turn

As the country hurtles toward another Presidential election year, the political differences between both sides of the aisle are widening.

But it isn’t just a recent phenomenon. Over the last 20 years, the opinion gap between Republicans and Democrats on issues like immigration, governmental power, abortion and taxes have widened considerably, according to a new Gallup poll

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Republicans are far more likely today to say the federal government has too much power than they were in 2003, according to the poll. Meanwhile, 87% of Democrats are very concerned about global warming while juts 35% of Republicans are. 

But there is one issue where the country is closer than it has ever been: cannabis. 

The gap between the number of Democrats who think marijuana should be legal and the number of Republicans who do as well is much higher than it was in 2003 and 2013. But the 83% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans who agree on legalization represent the highest consensus in Gallup’s polling on the issue. 

The number of Democrats who have come around on the issue has exploded over the years, with about 45% advocating for legalization back in 2003.

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Republican support has grown more modestly, but more than half still see legalization as the right thing to do, with the charge for legalization being led by younger conservatives. 

“At every age level, conservatives are less likely than moderates or liberals to support making marijuana legal. However, majorities of younger conservatives (those under age 50) favor legalization, compared with 32% of older conservatives,” the poll found. 

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