This is either a sign of the apocalypse or just the demise of prohibition, but Fox News delivered a real shocker yesterday. The notoriously right-wing news outlet released a poll that showed support for cannabis legalization at a record-high 59 percent. Sure, that's slightly lower than other polls that show support in the 60s, but we're talking about Fox News and recreational cannabis here!
Fox News is not exactly high on cannabis, even if its hosts certainly seem high on something. Sean Hannity once helmed a Stoned America special that equated voting for cannabis legalization with supporting slavery, while former host Bill O'Reilly opined that Colorado was "out of control" after legalization. Just last month, Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt even equated it with illegal immigration: "Not only if you’re illegal you’re welcome in California, also if you want to get high, you’re welcome there, too. So you can be illegal and wasted on marijuana and live in that state and be just fine."
Nevertheless, Trump's favorite news channel did not censor the findings. Per the poll, support for legalization is up 13 points since 2013 and up 33 points from 2001. Support for prohibition, meanwhile, fell to 32 percent, which marks a 17-point drop since 2013.
A majority of baby boomers (52 percent) now support legalization, while millennials predictably offer the highest rate of support at 72 percent. Republicans overall were evenly split with 46 percent for and against legalization.
What demographics still support cannabis prohibition? The main opponents to legalization are those who self-identify as very conservative: 61 percent support prohibition, down 14 points from 2013. The second-largest demo was white evangelical Christian with 53 percent favoring prohibition, down 16 points.
"When you look at the growing percentage of people who say they support legalizing marijuana, especially among those under 30 years of age, it's obvious why the Democrats are anxious to get pot initiatives on the ballot in statewide elections," noted Republican pollster Daron Shaw.
Epitomizing the shift in political views, Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo wrote an opinion piece for The Hill yesterday that strong condemned Jeff Session' "war on marijuana [as] a handout for illegal operators."
Likewise, Charles Koch, one of the country's biggest donors to conservative politics, has reportedly given universities million of dollars to study cannabis and cannabis-related issues through his foundation. For example, Koch promised to give Ohio State University $4.5 million over five years to create a policy center that studies the impact of cannabis legalization and the drug war.
Though a hardcore Republican, Koch is also a libertarian, and the federal prohibition on cannabis stands in direct contradiction to support for state's rights and other libertarian values.