Support for legalized marijuana has finally gained a majority of support from not only the American public but the majority of conservatives across the country as well. Gallup released their recent poll on marijuana legalization and the results shouldn’t be that shocking these days. A whopping 64% of adults in the US now believe that marijuana should be legal and 51% percent of Republican law makers agree.
The numbers are significant and show a drastic change in attitude toward marijuana. The first Gallup poll on marijuana dates back to 1969. At the time, only twelve percent of Americans favored legalization in any form. It wasn’t until the mid-sixties that real research into the medicinal and psychotropic effects of marijuana began. Since then our understanding of the chemistry and politics surrounding marijuana have come a long way and are continuing to expand rapidly. As we have moved forward into the information age, it has been harder and harder for the truth about marijuana to be withheld.
But it’s not just the average American that supports marijuana legalization. The party that has been staunchly behind the war on drugs and traditionally opposed to anything resembling progress, the Republicans, have seemingly come to reason. Although it is only 1% more than half, it is a shy margin and still constitutes a majority. The Democrats have typically been the party that looked to change the justice system and make marijuana offenses noncriminal. Whereas the Republicans have clung to age-old prohibition myths. The change of heart shows that the Republican party most likely is focused on the money, and now that the green economy has proven itself to be legitimate, they are slowly coming to face reality.
The poll showed that 67% of political independents support marijuana legalization, while 72% of Democrats supported the action. Prior to this poll, the highest numbers seen for legalization were around 2011. That year led to overwhelming majority votes in Colorado and Washington, ushering in a new era of legal cannabis. Over 20% of the population now has access to marijuana in one form or another, and odds are they have seen that the sky hasn’t fallen. The realization that marijuana generates taxes, lowers crime and traffic homicide rates and creates a path for many Americans to find new careers should only lead one to the realization that marijuana should be legal everywhere.
As the world prepares for the coming green rush that will connect businesses and consumers across the oceans, America is taking its time in coming around. The new poll numbers show great promise for cannabis in America. Let’s just hope that the poll numbers reflect the will of the voters in the upcoming elections.
Cory Hughes is a former police officer turned cannabis cultivator and writer. After years of being on the wrong side of the law, Cory decided to hang up his badge and gun and move into an industry that truly has the potential of bringing people together. He has been an active part of the Colorado cannabis culture and has worked as a horticulturist in dozens of licensed grow operations. Cory now looks to share his knowledge of cultivation and horticulture with the world.