Public Support for Legalizing Marijuana is Soaring

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For the first time in our nation’s history, the majority of American citizens are in support of legalizing marijuana.

In fact, a recent Gallup poll shows that upwards of 58% of Americans approve of its legalization. Interestingly enough, that’s more than five times the support that Congress has from the American populous, which comes in at a mere 11%.

Within the past decade, there has been a marked increase in the approval ratings of legalized marijuana. With this increase in support, there has been a massive increase in the scientific research of the effects of marijuana.

Much of this research has aided in disproving longstanding common myths and misconceptions about the drug.

New scientific evidence, especially if it is about a hotly debated topic such as marijuana, can take time before the larger population generally accepts it.

However, recent remarks by President Obama which mirror the beliefs of 75% of Americans in regards to the dangers, or rather the lack thereof, posed by marijuana, show that our nation is listening to what the scientific community has to say on the matter.

In an interview with “The New Yorker” magazine, Obama stated that he thinks marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Marijuana advocates have touted this admission as a massive step forward for the drug’s acceptance in society.

Obama’s sentiment is hardly a revelation though, as proponents of legalization have been asserting this for years. In fact, a team of British researchers from the Beckley Foundation published a study in 2008, which asserted that marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or even tobacco.

The study went on to say that the prohibition of marijuana “has little effect of either the supply or demand for the drug, and instead leads to user criminalization.”

Currently, 9 out 10 adults in the United States think that individuals who are caught in possession of small quantities of marijuana should not face any jail time, according to a nationwide survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

With 20 states allowing for the use of medical marijuana, Washington and Colorado legalizing its recreational use, and more states such as New York and Florida seriously considering its medical use, it appears as though many politicians are listening to the sentiments voiced by the American people.

In the coming years, as public support continues to grow, it seems only inevitable that more and more states will find themselves voting in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

Until then however, Americans seeking legal use of the drug will have to settle for frequent “hiking” trips to Colorado.


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