Iowans overwhelmingly want to allow their sick neighbors and family members to be able to access legal medical cannabis according to a poll released this week from Quinnipiac University.
According to the study, 87 percent of 1,411 voters polled said that state laws need to be changed. Medical marijuana saw no less than 68 percent across all political parties, gender and age groups. Conversely, 55 percent of those same voters said recreational use of cannabis should remain illegal.
Not everyone was against recreational pot. Predictably, Democrats and youth between 18 and 29 years old supported legalizing and taxing pot for adults.
“Iowans overwhelmingly think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes, but most voters oppose legalizing personal recreational use,” said Peter Brown, assistant director on the study. “Opposition to personal marijuana is higher in Iowa than in any state we’ve surveyed so far on this subject.”
And that might be due to a rather conservative outlook on cannabis in general among Iowans. Nearly half of all voters said marijuana is equally as dangerous as alcohol and 46 percent said that marijuana is a gateway drug that ultimately leads to harder drug use. Only 36 percent of those polled had ever tried pot. Broken down, only 42 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds have ever toked.
The study also asked a few other oddball questions. Notably, 57 percent of voters said they wouldn’t mind their neighbors growing it if it was legalized and a majority of Iowa voters say that Colorado’s image has been tarnished by marijuana legalization.
Among that group, likely, is Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who says legalizing even medical cannabis would lead to dire consequences for the community as a whole.
“I think we have to be careful about drafting our laws just for a few people that have a particular problem or ailment,” Branstad narrow-mindedly told KCRG news. Because, you know, looking out for the medical needs of a minority of Iowans shouldn’t really be the concern of state leadership or anything like that.
Though there have been a few murmurs of legislation to legalize medical cannabis in the state, nothing has gained any notable support so far.