There was a time when studying the results of public opinion surveys concerning cannabis legalization made for depressing reading. A couple of generations ago, the overwhelming majority of US citizens opposed the legalization and use of cannabis in all its forms, which is hardly surprising, given the extent of the propaganda being published at the time.
So it wasn’t precisely an inspiring picture for cannabis activists. These days, however, things have made something of a dramatic turnaround. But in a sense, it’s actually even more depressing than it was back then.
A new study suggests that most Americans support recreational cannabis legalization or use easy to grow weed seeds. At the same time, an even more spectacular majority would like to see it made readily available for medical purposes. According to the latest Harvard-Harris survey, pretty much half (or 49% if being specific) of American citizens believe that the time has come for the legalization of cannabis, both for recreational and medical purposes. In addition, 37% said they would be happy to see cannabis legalized for medical use only.
This effectively translates as 86% of the entire country supporting cannabis legalization in one form or another, even though only 45% of the country has consumed cannabis at least once. Just 14% are happy with cannabis legislation as it exists today.
On the surface, this constitutes nothing but a fantastic turn of events for proactive cannabis supporters. In reality, however, it makes you acutely aware of the fact that the overwhelming public opinion apparently has no bearing on the decisions made by supposedly democratic governments.
As far as nearly nine in ten Americans are concerned, cannabis, in one form or another, should be legalized at a Federal level. Nevertheless, the likelihood of this happening anytime soon is pretty much zero. Worse still, the study’s findings were published at the same time current (though perhaps not much longer) Atty. General Jeff Sessions is rumored to be preparing to wage war on cannabis users across the country. The long and short of it is that a report is scheduled to be released by the justice department shortly, which will once again attempt to draw links between various crimes and the sale, distribution, and use of cannabis.
In turn, it may also recommend that harsher sentences are handed out to anyone involved in the supply or use of cannabis whatsoever.
Which is pretty infuriating for two reasons. First, of which being that once again, this is a nonsensical opinion that goes against the consensus of almost every American citizen. Secondly, there hasn’t been a study to date that has drawn even the slightest link between cannabis legalization and elevated crime.
In fact, areas in which cannabis has been legalized have noted a significant decrease in overall crime rates: all directly attributed to pot legalization.
“Voters point to drugs as the primary source of crime and support harsh sentences for drug dealers, but view marijuana in a wholly different light” – Harvard-Harris co-director Mark Penn said.
Most think legalization of marijuana would probably help reduce crime, and almost half support legalization. By contrast, something the American public does appear to be in complete agreement about is the escalating opioid crisis in the United States. While 88% of those polled stated that drug abuse is a severe problem across the US, Mr. Sessions called it the “worst drug crisis”; in the country’s history.
This would suggest that he clearly hasn’t bothered reading any of the studies into the potential benefits of medical cannabis for those battling opioid addiction.
On the Cannabis Legalization Day pot smokers around the world as a reason to toke up with friends and massive crowds each year. While majorities of Democrats and Democratic leaners across all age groups support legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, older Democrats are less likely to say this.
Ever get the feeling you’re banging your head against a brick wall?