Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Record Support for Legalizing Marijuana in the United States

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Ellis Copeland | 25 October, 2017, 22:19

Over half the USA has legalized some form of marijuana use. Recent studies have shown legal weed is replacing most over-the-counter medicines, while dispensaries in states like Nevada are running out of product so fast, officials are actually declaring states of emergencies in order to cope.

A new Gallup poll shows growing support for marijuana legalization, with 64 percent of Americans now in favor of the measure.

The latest figure, based on an October 5-11 poll, follows shifts in the legal landscape regarding marijuana since Gallup's 2016 measure. The shift among Republicans has been even more dramatic, with support rising by nine points (21 percent) in just the a year ago. Among other activities, NORML serves as an informational resource to the public and the national media on all topics specific to cannabis, marijuana policy, and the law; lobbies local, state, and federal legislators in support of reform legislation; publishes a regular newsletter; hosts an annual conference; places op-eds and letters to the editor in newspapers throughout the country, publishes timely and important reports and white papers, and serves as the umbrella group for a national network of citizen-activists committed to ending prohibition and legalizing marijuana. Their results showed 51 percent of Republicans said they believe cannabis should be legal, which is up from 42 percent just past year.

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A round of polling conducted earlier this month among 1,028 randomly selected Americans suggest support for legalization is up almost across the board, Gallup said. "On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64% favor each". The attorney general himself even went so far as to suggest "more competition" among legal growers would be "healthy". Sixty-seven percent of Independents, meanwhile, said they support legalizing marijuana, down from 70 percent a year ago, Gallup said. It's nearly as if something very distressing happened in the past year.

Already, marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC. In the five years since the first states made marijuana legal for adults, it has become increasingly clear that - unlike prohibition - regulation works.

The sharp shift in Republican voters' views on pot is the most significant finding in the Gallup poll, coming during a time of increased federal skepticism of marijuana legalization efforts. Most recently marijuana was legalized in 2016 in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and ME via citizen referenda and voters in a number of other states approved legalization for medicinal purposes.

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