Cannabis Liberation and Public Opinion: Closing The Gender Gap

The outreach efforts of the NORML Women’s Alliance are pivotal to NORML’s overall goal of cannabis liberation.

NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition. Similarly, one of the intended goals of the NWA is to sufficiently move public opinion forward among women. Because without increased public support among women, we will arguably never bring about an end to this failed, destructive war of cannabis consumers.

There exists a startling gender gap between men and women when it comes to the issue of marijuana legalization. And even though over the past decade the work of NORML and likeminded organizations have effectively shifted public opinion overall in favor of rational marijuana policies – from just 36 percent public support in 2005 to 50 percent public support today – the gap between men and women’s support for legalization remains nearly the same now as it was then.

Here’s some statistics:

According to a 2005 nationwide Gallup poll, 41 percent of men said they favored cannabis legalization versus 32 percent of women, a gap of 9 percent;

According to a 2007 Zogby poll commissioned by NORML that asked, ‘Do you support amending federal law to remove criminal penalties for the use of marijuana by adults,’ 57 percent of men supported such a measure versus 41 percent of women, a difference of 16 percent;

According to a 2010 Gallup poll, 51 percent of men favored legalizing cannabis versus 41 percent of women, a gap of 10 percent;

A finally, the most recent Gallup survey from 2011 found that 55 percent of men favored legalization, but only 46 percent of women did so, a difference of 9 percent.

Are we making progress in shifting public opinion overall? Yes. But there continues to exist a significant and troubling gender gap that limits our efforts to bring about majority support for responsible cannabis liberation. The NWA seeks to close this gap by reaching out, engaging with, educating, and addressing the unique concerns of women. You can learn more about the NORML Women’s Alliance and their work here.

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