Young Republicans Are Changing the Party's Curmudgeonly Ways

It's not your grandpa's GOP anymore! The party traditionally associated with older white (somewhat curmudgeonly) gentlemen is becoming more and more popular with the young folks, and a new survey may have even more Millennials flocking to the big tent. It looks as though more young Republicans than ever approve of legalizing marijuana.


A Pew survey recently found that nearly two-thirds of Republicans born between 1981 and 1996 support legalizing pot, and almost half of GOP Gen-Xers do too. It's still a more popular idea with Democrats across the board, but this jump is a clear sign that the times are changing, and the Republican party isn't as stuffy as some people like to think.

Conservative activists from across the country met last week in Washington, D.C., for the Conservative Political Action Conference, and from the applause received by New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson on the subject, this is something that younger voters feel passionately about.

Johnson said there was no reason it shouldn't be legalized, and casted it as a safer alternative to alcohol. He told the crowd, "Having a debate right now over whether or not to legalize marijuana is kind of like having a debate over whether the sun is going to come up tomorrow."

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When you think about, it just makes sense for Republicans to be pro-legalization of pot. They're the party that advocates for a smaller, more limited government, after all. Hands off my health care? How about hands off my joint?

The GOP has gotten more and more libertarian in recent years, which can be seen in polls like this one, along with others on social issues. Last year, Pew did a study and found that 61 percent of Republicans under 30 favored laws protecting the rights of same-sex couples who wish to marry.

Who would have ever thought that Republicans would be for legal pot and gay marriage? But as Millennials are growing up with socially forward thinking, and a strong desire to keep the government off their backs, it only makes sense that they will eventually change the attitude of the GOP.

Do you think pot should be legal?


Image via Jonathan Piccolo/Flickr

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