Gender Differences in Support for Legalization
In national polls, women statistically are more resistant to the idea of legalization than men. For example, the latest Angus-Reid poll showed male support for marijuana legalization at 57% while female support lags at 53%. More dramatically, a 2010 Gallup poll showed women trailing men by ten percentage points (41%-51%) in their support for legalization. It is arguably impossible to reach strong majority support for marijuana legalization as long as this gender gap remains.
We as reformers must do more than just acknowledge this gender gap exists; we must close it. To do so, however, we must first understand why women are less likely to support marijuana legalization than men. Specifically, are there particular concerns regarding the legalization and regulation of cannabis that are held by a majority of women but not a majority of men? In an attempt to answer this question, the NORML Women’s Alliance is conducting the following poll. By conducting this and similar polls and by analyzing the results, NORML hopes to find ways to better target women with more persuasive messaging as we seek to close the existing gender gap and continue to move public support in favor of ending marijuana prohibition.
August 17, 2011