Support for Marijuana Prohibition Reaches All Time Low
An interesting thing happened when the anti-marijuana crusaders Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) paid Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy to conduct a poll on cannabis. Of the 1,000 respondents polled, only 16% supported the federal law as it currently exists. Current federal law (as you are probably aware) prohibits cannabis possession for any purpose. The support for a change in federal law was consistent among the gender, race, age, geographical location, and political party of the respondents. This begs the question: is marijuana prohibition the least popular federal law in America?
You don’t even have to like cannabis to see the benefit. The vast majority of respondents (83%) supported the federal legalization of medical marijuana at minimum. Over half of the respondents (54%) supported the federal decriminalization or legal recreational use. Data suggests that legalizing marijuana nationwide would lead to over one million jobs. Legalization could lead to 28 billion in yearly tax revenue. This is before you get into the cost of the criminal justice system, etc. So with everyone hating on the federal law… could things be changing?
The short answer is… maybe. In 2014, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment was added to a spending bill in the US House of Representatives that prevented the Justice Department from going after medical cannabis users and producers in states where it was legalized. As it was attached to a spending bill, that amendment is in danger of going away if the Federal Government decides to shut down again on the February 8th deadline. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) knows what’s at stake and is going to make sure that this amendment continues until he can introduce permanent protections which go far beyond his current amendment.
Rohrabacher is pushing his bill HR 975 entitled “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017.” The bill, which currently has 40 cosponsors, would force the federal government to honor the will of the voters in their respective states in regard to Cannabis. With Vermont’s governor signing off on recreational pot (and New Jersey likely to do the same in June) more and more states are pushing the issue. Rohrabacher doesn’t see cannabis as a partisan issue stating, “there is a new coalition out there. It’s not left or right. It’s a coalition of people who believe cannabis should be left up to the states.”
What does the future have in store for federal cannabis laws? Well, whatever it is we will be telling you about it! Make sure to keep reading our blog and toke on Dreamers!