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Monday, May 20, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Cannabis

Overwhelming majority of Americans favour cannabis legalization, Pew poll finds

Out of more than 5,100 adults, 88 per cent said medical or adult-use cannabis should be legal

Overwhelming majority of Americans favour federal cannabis legalization, Pew poll finds
Image credit: NORML -- a cannabis advocacy non-profit based in Washington, D.C.

The majority of American adults think medical and recreational bud should be legal throughout the country. The days of condemning the cannabis plant have largely come to an end in the United States.

That is according to data from a new poll released this week by the renowned Pew Research Center.

Eighty-eight per cent of the poll’s 5,140 participants favoured legalization while only 11 per cent thought marijuana should be prohibited. More specifically, 57 per cent said medical and recreational cannabis should be legal while 32 per cent thought only medical should be permitted.

Pew’s new poll found that broad support for legalization has been prevalent for about five years. In fact, a 2022 survey completed by the organization found even broader support for making medical and adult-use grass legal at 59 per cent while 30 per cent voted for medical only.

Only 24 out of 50 states have legalized adult use pot while 38 currently permit medical cannabis access for designated patients.

“As more states have adopted legalization, public support for this policy has risen dramatically,” Paul Armentano, Director of the cannabis advocacy non-profit NORML, said. “That’s because these policies are largely working as intended and because voters prefer legalization and regulation over the failed policy of cannabis prohibition.”

More than half of participants (52 per cent) thought that legalizing recreational weed would benefit local economies. Furthermore, the study found that Democrats were significantly more likely to favour ending prohibition than Republicans.

Read more: Up in smoke: Youngkin rejects marijuana legalization bill

Read more: American cannabis sales expected to rise by over 9% this year

Other researchers find broad support for cannabis legalization

A report last fall from Gallup determined that 70 per cent of U.S. residents were in favour of legalization.

Similarly, it found that Liberals (91 per cent) and Democrats (87 per cent) were more likely to support authorization of cannabis use while Conservatives (52 per cent) and Republicans (55 per cent) were less enthusiastic about it.

“Although some health organizations and political commentators have raised concerns about the medical risks of marijuana, this hasn’t blunted the public’s desire for legalization thus far,” Gallup concluded.

However, despite public enthusiasm, Forbes predicted last year that federal legalization likely wouldn’t happen for a decade. This is due to Joe Biden and other current presidential candidates’ lack of interest in making the plant legal at the federal level, the media company said.

“Even though recreational marijuana use is now legal in 23 states and most Americans support ending the federal ban, investors, entrepreneurs and politicians are no longer high on it happening in the next 10 years,” Forbes writer Will Yakowicz said.

As support for legalization grows among the public, American cannabis sales are expected to rise too. The cannabis data firm Whitney Economics recently estimated that the country would generate US$2.6 billion more from pot this year than it did in 2023.

 

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