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Legalizing Marijuana

Americans overwhelmingly agree, by an almost 2-to-1 margin, that the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that legalize cannabis, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

“These polls are making it quite clear that most Americans do not want the federal government to stand in the way after a state’s voters have approved a ballot measure to make marijuana legal for adults,” said Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “The initiatives in Colorado and Washington received strong majority support because the voters believe regulating marijuana like alcohol would make their communities safer than the current system of prohibition.”
“It’s not just the people of Colorado and Washington who want to see these ballot measures implemented in accordance with the will of the voters,” Fox said. “It’s nearly two-thirds of all Americans. The Obama administration should not undermine their sensible action by ensuring marijuana sales remain underground where the profits prop up cartels and gangs instead of legitimate businesses.”
The question became a very timely one on Thursday, as Washington became the first state in the U.S. to legalize and regulate the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older, reports USA Today. 

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​A record-high 50 percent of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be legal, up from 46 percent last year, according to a new Gallup Poll. Forty-six percent say marijuana use should remain illegal.

The rapidly increasing historical trend in favor of legalizing marijuana continues, up from just 36 percent in 2006.

“If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation’s laws into compliance with the people’s wishes,” Gallup said in a press release.
“The Obama administration’s escalation of the ‘war on drugs’ and its attacks on state medical marijuana laws are only giving more and more Americans the opportunity to realize just how ridiculous and harmful our prohibition-based drug laws are,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and a retired Baltimore narcotics cop.

Graphic: BookRags
It’s as American as apple pie. Come on man, they’re smokin’ it at the freakin’ World Series.

​More Americans than ever before say they believe cannabis should be legal. A new Gallup Poll finds that nationally, a new high of 46 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, and a new low of 50 percent are opposed. The increase in support this year from 44 percent in 2009 is not statistically significant, according to Gallup, but is a continuation of an upward trend seen since 2000.

“Those numbers are evidence that Americans are increasingly rejecting the notion that otherwise law-abiding adults should be criminalized for using a substance that is less harmful than alcohol,” said Mike Meno, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.
On Election Day, November 2, voters in California, Arizona, South Dakota, and Oregon will consider statewide marijuana reform ballot measures.
About eight in 10 Americans were opposed to legalizing marijuana when Gallup first began asking about it in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Support for legalizing pot jumped to 31 percent in 2000 after holding in the 25 percent range from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.
Brandon Marshall

Public opinion of cannabis has shifted rapidly over the past five years; since Coloradans voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2012, seven other states and Washington, D.C., have also voted to legalize cannabis for adult use. And the rest of the country apparently approves, according to a new Gallup poll that shows Americans favor legalization at a higher rate than ever before.

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She doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about full legalization though.

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Download WeedWeek’s free 2016 election guide here.

A document preparing Hillary Clinton for her primary debates and released by WIkiLeaks suggests that as President she would continue President Obama’s hands-off policy towards state-legal marijuana industries, as long as they follow broad federal guidelines. Her talking points also suggest some openness to industry banking. (See page 97 of the document for more details.)

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The total is still below 15%.
The following is excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at
A Gallup poll found that 13% of U.S. adults currently use cannabis, up from 7% in 2013.

At SFWeekly, I argued that the 2016 Presidential candidates have dodged their responsibility to discuss legalization.

Ohio is looking for an experienced pot grower to help write the state’s MED rules. The successful applicant will likely have to pass a drug test.

Some Ohio communities are taking action to keep out MED businesses, though dispensaries won’t open in the state until at least 2018.
The alcohol industry wants Congress to know that cannabis-impaired driving is a problem. Officially, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America is neutral on legalization, but this year an industry group donated to stop Arizona’s REC initiative.
The San Jose Mercury News editorializes in favor of legalization in California. So does the East Bay Times.

The National Conference of State Legislatures endorsed rescheduling.

North Dakota will vote on MED in November. Arizona will vote on REC. Supporters of the Oklahoma MED initiative are “ cautiously optimistic” that they gathered enough signatures to make the ballot.

Two MED initiatives could qualify for the Arkansas ballot. The question of which one voters get to decide may end up in court. The Arkansas Farm Bureau and the state’s Chamber of Commerce oppose both.

Denver’s limited public use initiative collected more than double the number of signatures needed to qualify for a vote in November.

Nashville may decriminalize. The Chicago Tribune visits a grow house, and catches up on the Illinois industry.

High Times lists its “ hateful-eight,” the country’s most influential legalization opponents.

Illegal drug sales on the so-called dark web have tripled since the 2013 closure of the site Silk Road.

Watch out for knock-off vaporizers.

In Oregon, some Craigslist sellers ask for payment in cash or cannabis. Minnesota’s two MED producers are both losing money.


Could legal marijuana outpace smartphones on the economic front? According to a recent poll from the Huffington Post, the answer is a resounding yes.

According to HuffPo, more than $1.3 billion will be spent on legal cannabis in 2013 in the U.S,
and a growth of up to $2.34 billion next year. That’s a growth rate of about 64 percent. By comparison, smartphone industry has only grown by 46 percent at its largest.

Legalize me.

Think Mary Jane should be legal? You’re not alone. In just one year, the percentage of Americans who favor legalizing marijuana jumped ten percentage points from a small, 48 percent minority to a large, 58 percent majority.
Only 39 percent of people polled said marijuana should remain illegal. They also probably still think the war on drugs is money well spent.

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Don’t expect any major changes in marijuana policy from the White House any time soon (okay, if you were expecting major changes in the first place you were in for a disappointment).
At a press briefing yesterday, CNN’s Jessica Yellin asked White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest if marijuana rescheduling was on the president’s radar these days after what seems to be a rapid public opinion shift on all things marijuana over the last few years. The answer? Our president isn’t even considering it — at least, not now.

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