Market researchers generally shy away from politics. And controversial subjects. So writing about the political leanings of those who favor the legalization of marijuana in our country may be cutting edge (or just plain careless!).
In Colorado, however, cannabis is a legitimate business (assuming you are comfortable carrying around large amounts of cash). So the recent study by the Pew Research Center caught my eye. Cultural norms have changed so quickly in the past decade, and marketers must pay attention to these shifts in marketing demographics. Assumptions that Colorado having changed from a red state to a blue state in the 2008 and 2012 elections was the driver behind our first-in-the-nation legal pot over a year ago may not be what actually drove the change.
The statistics from Pew show that age connects with support for legalized marijuana much more closely than political leaning. Although views of Democrats in general are more favorable, 63% of Millennials (born 1981-1996) who identify as Republicans support legalized marijuana versus 61% of Democrat Generation X-ers (born 1965-1980). While there is definite concern about underage use, over three-fourths of Americans (76%) think that people convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana should not have to serve time in jail. And overall Americans view alcohol as a bigger danger than marijuana.