By Eric Lieberman
According to a new national Quinnipiac poll, a majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.
State drug policies have been reflecting the public’s sentiment that the Schedule 1 substance is more benign and less nefarious than was originally portrayed by the national government. Since Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed the state medical marijuana bill into law, there are now 24 states that have some degree of measures permitting pot for medical purposes. Medical marijuana has been supported by the majority of people in virtuallyevery state poll over the last 15 years, and this continues a decades-long upward trend in marijuana acceptance.
The Quinnipiac poll revealed people who identify as Democrats and Independents support complete legalization 65 percent and 61 percent, respectively. Only 36 oercent of Republicans favor legalization. When asked the question: “Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?” Men said yes 60 percent of the time while women said yes 48 percent of the time. People in the age gaps of 18-34, 35-49, 50-64 and 65 plus supported legalization 69 percent, 59 percent, 52 percent and 37 percent of the time, respectively.
Every single demographic, including race, age, gender and political identity, responded “yes” at a rate of 81 percent or higher in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. If you exclude Republicans and Hispanics, the “yes” response rates all exceeded 88 percent.
During his tenure, President Barack Obama and his administration have ordered many raids for medical marijuana facilities across the country. At the same time, Obama has more recently expressed restraint on this practice and is exercising indifference on the matter for his final year. According to Maclean’s Magazine, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, expressed regret and disappointment only three months after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana. “The administration has not done a particularly good job of, one, talking about marijuana as a public health issue, and number two, talking about what can be done and where we should be headed on our drug policy,” lamented Kerlikowske.