The latest survey on support for cannabis legalization found that a clear majority of Americans are in favor legalizing the plant that the federal government claims is among one of the deadliest drugs in the country.
According to a survey from Harvard-Harris Poll, 86 percent of Americans now support some form of cannabis legalization—with 49 percent of respondents saying it should be legalized for both recreational and medicinal use, and 37 percent saying it should be legalized for medicinal use only.
Heartening enough is that only 14 percent of Americans are stuck in the dark ages and want to keep it illegal, according to the poll.
The poll, which surveyed 2,051 registered voters online from July 19-24, found that only 14 percent of respondents said that they think cannabis should remain illegal. In contrast, 57 percent of respondents said legalizing cannabis would make society better, and 69 percent said it would not bother them if cannabis was legalized in their state.
In addition to the growing support for legalization, the survey also found that 72 percent of Americans support no jail time for individuals who are found possessing small amounts of cannabis—even if the plant is illegal.
Harvard-Harris Co-Director Mark Penn told The Hill that while the survey showed that voters are concerned about a rise in drug-related crimes, they appear to view cannabis as separate from other drugs that are currently illegal at the federal level.
“Voters point to drugs as the major source of crime and support tough sentences for drug dealers but view marijuana in a wholly different light,” Penn said. “Most think legalization of marijuana would probably be helpful in reducing crime and almost half support legalization.”
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In fact, as the Free Thought Project has reported on multiple occasions, legal weed does reduce crime.
In the days following the survey, lawmakers ignored public opinion and adhered to the standard set by federal law, by blocking an amendment from the debate that sought to let Veterans Affairs hospitals prescribe cannabis to patients in need.
As The Free Thought Project has reported, “even though therapeutic cannabis is legal in 29 states, many veterans face significant hurdles to lawfully obtain it, and instead, end up on addictive and deadly opiates and other big pharma solutions.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also ignored growing support for legalization, and he has instead pushed for the federal government punishing states that legalize cannabis. In a memo to the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice component heads, Sessions discussed the mission of President Trump’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.
“Task Force subcommittees will also undertake a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department's overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities,” Sessions wrote.
While cannabis is listed as a “Schedule I” drug in the United States—which means that it should have no medicinal value—it should be noted that the U.S. government actually holds the patent to cannabis as medicine, affirming its value.
The Free Thought Project has provided in-depth coverage of stories that show the true power of cannabis, such as a groundbreaking study published last month, which found that cannabis can stop HIV from becoming AIDS; a study that confirmed that the majority of cannabis users give up prescription opiate medications; and a study that confirmed that cannabis has a “significant” effect on killing cancer cells.
It is quite amazing and equally disheartening to see people advocate for kidnapping and caging individuals for possessing a plant that saves the lives of countless children, helps people recover from serious disease, and is far safer recreationally than alcohol. The good news, according to this survey, is that we only have a few people left to convince.