According to a Gallup poll released last week, a majority of Republicans are in favor of the legalization of marijuana for the first time on record. According to the poll, 51% of Republicans polled think that marijuana should be legal. This is likely due to the increasing public popularity of legalizing marijuana and many successes at the state level of pushing legislation through.

However, 51% is only a bare majority and as such, there are those such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been an adamant opponent of legalizing marijuana for decades, who are not in step with their somewhat more progressive members. Sessions infamously “joked” that he thought the KKK was alright until he found out they smoked pot. The Gallup poll also reveals that there is astounding general public support, to the tune of sixty-four percent of people polled, who support the legalization of marijuana.

It would make sense for the Republican Party to use this public momentum to their advantage, but the party is still dominated by a conservative base. This is an illustration of another issue where the Republican party and the base, represented by the Trump admin, seem to diverge on opinion. It will be interesting to see if this newfound support for legalizing marijuana and pure cannabidiol from hemp will lead to any bipartisan support in the various fights for decriminalization and legalization of marijuana.