MU Poll: GOP support for marijuana legalization grows, inflation remains top concern

MU Poll: GOP support for marijuana legalization grows, inflation remains top concern

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- There is growing support among Republicans who favor legalizing marijuana in the Badger State, according to the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.

For the first time, a majority of Republicans (51%) surveyed said they support marijuana legalization, with 42% opposed.

It's a 10-point shift in opinion from 2019 when 41% supported legalization, 56% opposed.

While views on cannabis are changing, there's still resistance from some Republicans in the state Legislature who are hesitant to change the law.

Marquette University Poll Director Charles Franklin said while the poll shows some promising signs, lawmakers are unlikely to advance legislation due to resistance.

"I do think there is some movement here, but it doesn't mean the Legislature will respond to the public opinion," said Franklin. "Republicans in the Legislature have become very unwilling to move ahead on legislation including medical marijuana."

Democrats and Republicans have introduced legislation to legalize medical marijuana and others back full legalization. Other proposals seek to decriminalize marijuana.

However, all the bills face hurdles in the Senate where the Republican leader, Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), has quashed the idea of legalizing marijuana, including for medicinal use, because it's illegal at the federal level.

Inflation Concerns

With gas prices anticipated to top $4 a gallon in Wisconsin, the poll reveals inflation is the number one concern among those surveyed.

More than a third, 68%, said they are very concerned about rising costs, 28% somewhat, and 4% not at all.

The price of gas and heat are expected to get worse in the next few days with Russia's attack on Ukraine impacting the market.

"Things could get better or worse, but it seems unlikely this issue will go away between now and the midterm elections," Franklin said.

Inflation will be an issue President Joe Biden and Democrats will have to worry about, Franklin said.

"Inflation is a real problem for any incumbent because there's not a short-term thing you can do to fix the problem," he said.

Biden outlined plans to address inflation during his State of the Union address by reinvesting in manufacturing companies in America, reducing child care costs, and speeding up supply chains.

The MU Poll interviewed 802 registered Wisconsin voters from Feb. 22-27, 2022. The margin of error is +/-3.8 percentage points.

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