Two-Thirds of Police Say Cannabis Laws Should Be Relaxed, Survey SaysGage Peake
January 11, 2017
of nearly 8,000 law enforcement officers.
Pew’s results also revealed a generational divide among cops, with officers under 35 more likely to support legalization of adult-use cannabis than their peers between 50 and 60 (37 percent and 27 percent, respectively).
While those numbers are nothing to sneeze at, support is still far lower among law enforcement than the general public. According to the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham
, civilians in those same age groups show 67 percent and 45 percent support, respectively, for nonmedical legalization.
Law enforcement groups have frequently been among the most opposed to ending cannabis prohibition, with a number of groups putting money and political support behind legalization opponents in November’s election. These groups, mainly in California and Arizona, donated thousands of dollars in attempts to defeat legalization initiatives in their states.
Pew conducted its survey of law enforcement online, from May 19 through Aug. 14, 2016, among a national sample of 7,917 police officers from local police and sheriff departments that have at least 100 sworn officers. The margin of error is between 2 percent and 3 percent.