The Republican party, as Barack Obama famously said, has been known for clinging to their guns and religion. But these days, they may be clinging to something else: a joint.

According to a new survey commissioned by Civilized, a large majority of Republican voters are in favor of some form of marijuana legalization, a stark contrast to the stereotypical Republican party views of the recent past.

Civilized's annual 420 Survey - conducted by market research agency PSB with more than 1,600 North American adults - found that 74 percent of Republican voters were in favor of some form of recreational and/or medical marijuana legalization.

Only 26 percent of Republicans were opposed to any form of legalization.

Digging further into the numbers, medical marijuana appears to be the most popular among the Grand Old Party, with 72 percent of republicans in favor legalizing medical marijuana.

And while only 33 percent of Republicans are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, that number has come a long way since the 'Just Say No' days of Nancy Reagan.

But when you look back at history, this support shouldn't be that surprising. One of the bedrocks that the GOP was founded on was the notion of state's rights, and the ideals that the federal government should get out of people's lives, as long as they aren't hurting anyone else.

Cannabis legalization has always been about freedom to make your own choices, which makes Jeff Sessions' recent comments comparing marijuana to heroin out of line with Republican voters.

Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions

Senator Sessions and Indiana Governor/Republican Vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence at an immigration policy speech in Phoenix, Arizona in August 2016

"Jeff Sessions' position on marijuana is rooted in what we know to be outdated and inaccurate stereotypes of cannabis consumers " says Derek Riedle, publisher of Civilized.Life, an online magazine that aims to elevate the conversation in regards to cannabis and it's consumers.    

Riedle goes on to say, "I find it interesting that - historically - the Republican party stands on their soapbox preaching less government on a federal level and the need to give more power to the individual states. This means that Sessions' stance on marijuana is not only out of step with his party's core values, he is also out of touch with the majority of Americans (in either party)."

Civilized recently released the data from their annual poll that shows that 4 of 5 Americans support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use (or both).  

It looks like the days of Republican politicians playing to their base with regressive policies and outdated platforms are on the decline.

Civilized partnered with PSB to conduct a survey of more than 1,600 North American adults to explore modern cannabis culture. PSB is a world renowned global strategic communications advisory based in Washington D.C. With roots in innovative political campaign strategy, PSB is a full-service research and insights agency engaging blue-chip organizations across all sectors.

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