01.19.2017
policy

Red State Voters Liked Weed Just as Much as They Liked Donald Trump

And in Florida, people voted for legal weed even more than for Trump.

Now that the 2016 election is over and done with, the whole ordeal will be forever emblazoned on the country’s collective memory as a mostly shit-show political clown car wreck. With President-elect Trump’s inauguration mere hours away, it might seem farfetched to pitch cannabis-reform initiatives as the unifier between blue voters and red states that went to Trump in November.

However unlikely it may seem, according to an analysis by Marijuana Business Daily, the notion that we’ve been wrong about how marijuana has been governed over the past several decades is shared by both Democratic and Republican voters.

The analysis, based on Secretary of State-issued data, showed that in five Trump-leaning states that had weed initiatives on the ballot––Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota––nearly just as many (and in the case of Florida, more) voters who supported Trump also voted for cannabis initiatives. 

Image via Marijuana Business Daily

In Florida, a pivotal state in any election, 71 percent of voters said yes to an update to the Sunshine state’s Amendment 2, while only 49 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the former reality television star. And in Arizona, the sole state with cannabis reform on the ballot that didn’t pass it, only 200,000 less voters said yes to recreational-use cannabis bill Proposition 205 than voters who said yes to Trump.

Red, blue, purple, or even green, could national marijuana reform indeed make America great again? Perhaps. Though one trending narrative is painting President Trump’s administration as no ally of the emerging cannabis industry. Incoming attorney general Jeff Sessions straight up hates weed, but offered little clarity on his plans for attacking it in his confirmation hearing. The new Commander in Chief has previously stated that he supports state-regulated medical marijuana markets. 

Still, the people have spoken. Even in North Dakota, where the state’s voter-passed Statutory Measure 5 is slow to get rolling, the difference between voters in support of the medical marijuana measure and those who voted in favor of President-elect Trump was less than 1,000. Only Arkansas exhibited a (somewhat) large disparity between Trump-votes and yes-votes on Issue 6, which established a medical marijuana industry in the Natural State. The legislation passed nonetheless.

Going off of the data: In each of these states, some of the same constituents who voted for Trump, also supported marijuana initiatives. 

Which leads one to believe that despite any would-be crooked candidate emojis, debates that at times seemed more like arguments between elementary school students, pantsuits, comb-overs, below-the-belt jabs, shitty television commercials, not-so-great campaign slogans, and everything weird and in-between––national cannabis reform is desired by more than just the guy sleeping on your couch. 

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