Louisiana Voters Back Cannabis Legalization, Poll Shows

According to a recent poll conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling, two-thirds (67%) of Louisiana voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use in the state. The survey found that support for reform — even amongst republican voters — has increased significantly over the past year, when just 54% of voters were in favor of cannabis legalization. 

Additionally, about half of all respondents indicated that they prefer “full legalization of marijuana” rather than just a decriminalization model. Only 27% of those polls said they’d back simply removing criminal penalties as opposed to enacting total legalization. 

Demographics of the Poll 

As is the case with marijuana legalization support across the country, demographics have a larger impact on a person’s willingness to consider cannabis reform. Here are some of the most notable:

  • Democrats are more likely to support both recreational adult-use and medical use. 67% of Democrats were in favor, compared to 58% of Republicans.
  • Young voters were especially in favor of legalization, with 93% of those respondents saying that cannabis should be available for recreational and medical use. 
  • The greatest support for legalization came from voters living in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans 

Current Louisiana Cannabis Law

The state of Louisiana currently does have a medical marijuana program in place, though it is extremely limited in it’s selection. However, Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill in 2020 that significantly expanded the state’s medical program, allowing physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they see fit. 

State lawmakers have also passed a resolution that seeks to create a task force to study the cannabis industry, and make recommendations relative to projected workforce demands. 

Currently, there is no legislation drafted in Louisiana that would make recreational marijuana legal. Whether or not Louisiana follows other southern states on the pursuit of full cannabis reform remains to be seen. 

Contributed by Jack Berning