Cannabis Consumers Could Be a Silent Swing Vote in 2020, and That’s Bad News for Trump
The majority of cannabis consumers in America aren’t particularly outspoken about their affection for marijuana. But just because they’re in the cannabis closet doesn’t mean they’re opposed to being heard when it comes to other issues. In fact, it looks like cannabis consumers are shaping up to be a silent swing vote in the 2020 election, according to Civilized’s 2019 Cannabis Culture Poll.
Civilized recently teamed up with PSB Research and Burson Cohn & Wolf to survey 1,000 Americans and over 600 Canadians about cannabis culture. We found that despite the stereotype of the apathetic pothead, today’s cannabis consumers are not only politically engaged, they’re also eager to cast ballots in the next presidential election. The vast majority of American cannabis consumers (90 percent) told us they plan to vote on November 3, 2020. That’s three percent higher than the number of non-consumers that intend to hit the ballot box on Election Day.
That turnout could be very bad news for President Trump since those cannabis consumers aren’t too fond of the incumbent commander-in-chief. Of those consumers, 60 percent said they’ve already decided to vote against Trump in 2020. Only 29 percent of consumers said they would re-elect Trump in the next big election.
Now, you might not think that’s a huge problem since anyone who supports cannabis must be a Democrat, so they were going to vote against Trump no matter what, right? Wrong. Roughly one-third (31 percent) of our poll’s respondents were Republicans. Among those right-wing respondents, 56 percent identified themselves as “strong Republicans” (compared to 51 percent of non-consumers who support the GOP).
Those stats demonstrate that cannabis legalization has clearly become a bipartisan issue. And that should be a big wakeup call for President Trump, who has failed to fulfill his campaign promise to support medical marijuana.
“I think medical should happen — right?” he said at a campaign rally in Nevada back in 2015. “Don’t we agree? I think so.”
But since winning the 2016 election, Trump hasn’t done anything to “make medical marijuana happen” in America. In fact, the federal government still classifies cannabis as a substance that has no medical value and is as dangerous as heroin.
Trump hasn’t only been inactive when it comes to marijuana reform. He’s actually proven detrimental to the movement to legalize and normalize cannabis in America. Shortly after taking office, Trump blindsided recreational consumers and medical marijuana patients by picking Jeff Sessions — an outspoken proponent of prohibition — as the new administration’s attorney general. Sessions — who once said he thought the Ku Klux Klan “was OK until I found out they smoked pot” — used his tenure as attorney general to obstruct marijuana research, block efforts to revamp America’s drug laws and push for a crackdown on states that have legalized cannabis for recreational or medical use.
After all that, it’s no surprise that passionate cannabis consumers of all political stripes are distrustful of the Trump administration. And if Trump wants to win back pro-cannabis Republicans, he should consider pressuring Congress to pass the STATES Act or another marijuana reform bill between now and November 3, 2020.
The Cannabis Culture Poll is an annual study commissioned by Civilized in partnership with PSB Research and Burson Cohn & Wolfe. In March 2019, the poll surveyed 1,602 adults from coast-to-coast in the U.S. and Canada. The research groups, consisting of both cannabis consumers and non-users, were asked a variety of questions about their views about cannabis as well behaviors, habits, and personal experiences.