CommunityFDL Main Blog

Demographics Are Destiny for Marijuana Legalization

destiny
Last night voters in Washington State and Colorado made history by approving ballot measures legalizing marijuana. If I had to choose one factor that made these victories possible, it would be the new generation of young voters.

The Millennial generation is the largest generation in American history. Now that they are starting to make up a large share of the electorate, they are dramatically changing the politics around a broad spectrum of issues.

There is a huge generational divide when it comes to opinions about marijuana. Senior citizens heavily oppose marijuana legalization but their opposition is now being cancelled out by the strong support for reform from a growing body of young voters.

In Colorado, Amendment 64 won with 55 percent of the vote even though according to the exit polls senior citizens voted by a two-to-one margin against marijuana legalization. What allowed the measure to win is that voters under age of 40 supported it by an equally lopsided margin.

Looking at all the exit polling for the three marijuana legalization measures this year, including the one in Oregon that lost, there is a distinct age gradient. The younger a voter is, the more likely they are to support marijuana legalization. In Colorado voters age 30-39 supported legalization 65% yes to 35% no. Voters age 40-64 were mostly divided (52% yes to 48% no), but seniors opposed it 32% yes to 68% no.

This is effectively a generational wave steadily moving forward. Every day young people who overwhelmingly support marijuana legalization are reaching voting age while at the same time older voters who oppose marijuana reform are, to put it bluntly, dying.

As we saw yesterday in Colorado and Washington State, the natural demographics shift has already caused those states to reach the tipping point on marijuana legalization, but it will only be a matter of time before it takes place across the country. The polling clearly shows this generational divide is a national phenomena.

Colorado and Washington were the first states where voters legalized marijuana but current trends indicate it won’t be long until many other states start following suit.

CommunityJust Say Now

Demographics are Destiny for Marijuana Legalization

destiny
Last night voters in Washington State and Colorado made history by approving ballot measures legalizing marijuana. If I had to choose one factor that made these victories possible, it would be the new generation of young voters.

The Millennial generation is the largest generation in American history. Now that they are starting to make up a large share of the electorate, they are dramatically changing the politics around a broad spectrum of issues.

There is a huge generational divide when it comes to opinions about marijuana. Senior citizens heavily oppose marijuana legalization but their opposition is now being cancelled out by the strong support for reform from a growing body of young voters.

In Colorado, Amendment 64 won with 55 percent of the vote even though according to the exit polls senior citizens voted by a two-to-one margin against marijuana legalization. What allowed the measure to win is that voters under age of 40 supported it by an equally lopsided margin.

Looking at all the exit polling for the three marijuana legalization measures this year, including the one in Oregon that lost, there is a distinct age gradient. The younger a voter is, the more likely they are to support marijuana legalization. In Colorado voters age 30-39 supported legalization 65% yes to 35% no. Voters age 40-64 were mostly divided (52% yes to 48% no), but seniors opposed it 32% yes to 68% no.

This is effectively a generational wave steadily moving forward. Every day young people who overwhelmingly support marijuana legalization are reaching voting age while at the same time older voters who oppose marijuana reform are, to put it bluntly, dying.

As we saw yesterday in Colorado and Washington State, the natural demographics shift has already caused those states to reach the tipping point on marijuana legalization, but it will only be a matter of time before it takes place across the country. The polling clearly shows this generational divide is a national phenomena.

Colorado and Washington were the first states where voters legalized marijuana but current trends indicate it won’t be long until many other states start following suit.

Previous post

Was It Over When Barack Obama Bombed Pearl Harbor?

Next post

Wisconsin Loses State Senate Majority in a Mixed Night for Democrats in State Legislatures

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com