More Americans Than Ever Want to Legalize Weed … New Polls Show Support in Massachusetts and Cali … And Michigan Could Get Some Help Legalizing in 2018.
Read all about it in the HIGH TIMES weekly Legalization Roundup for Oct. 24:
What: Record Breaking Number of Americans Support Legal Weed
More people in the United States support the legalization of marijuana than every before. The latest Gallup poll shows 60 percent of the American population is in favor of establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis industry similar to how the nation handles alcohol. This is the highest documented support on the issue since Gallup began polling the question almost 50 years ago. The millennial generation showed the most support (71 percent), while demographics from Generation X to Baby Boomers showed more backing than in previous years. However, most senior citizens, or the “silent generation,” still believe weed should remain illegal. Policy experts say the latest polls are evidence that marijuana ballot measures in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada will likely be victorious on Nov. 8.
What: Push for Legalization in 2018
It looks like Michigan voters will get another chance to decide whether the state should legalize marijuana for recreational use. In December, the Marijuana Policy Project will conduct a listening tour across the state, with hopes of working with local advocates on a new initiative aimed at legalizing marijuana. The goal, according to the MPP, is to do what the organization did back in 2008 when it helped make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to legalize a medical marijuana program. The tour is scheduled to stop in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Detroit. The group says the state could generate $63 million in annual tax revenue by establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis industry.
What: Proposition 64 Remains Ahead in the Polls
Marijuana will be made legal in California, according to the latest survey from ABC News. The new poll shows 51 percent of the voters intend to support Proposition 64 in the November election, while only 40 percent say they will oppose. These numbers are down from previous surveys—some of which have suggested that legalization could be approved by between 57 and 60 percent of the voters—but still safely ahead. If passed, adults 21 and over would be able to purchase marijuana from retail outlets across the state (without a medical marijuana card), as well as cultivate up to six plants at home for personal use.
What: More Support for Legal Weed
Support for marijuana legalization is up in Massachusetts, according to a new poll. The latest survey from WBUR indicates that 55 percent of the voters plan to support Question 4 at the polls this November. This is more than last month’s survey, which suggested only 50 percent would side with the issue. If voters approve the initiative, adults 21 and over would be allowed to purchase weed from retail dispensaries in a manner similar to how beer is sold. But the opposition is sinking a lot of money into a campaign to prevent legalization from happening, most of which has come from casino billionaire Sheldon Anderson. This money is funding television ads that suggest marijuana legalization will turn the commonwealth into a bleak expanse of cannabis-store strip malls luring children to buy pot. However, a recent study by the Drug Policy Alliance suggests that while it is “too early to draw any line-in-the-sand conclusion about the effects of marijuana legalization,” all of the evidence shows that legal weed in Colorado and Washington has not as yet destroyed society as we know it.
What: Strong Support for Legalization
Some marijuana advocates believe Delaware will become the first state to legalize the leaf by way of the state legislature. The latest poll on the issue shows that 61 percent of the residents would like to see marijuana legalized in a manner similar to what is currently underway in Colorado. Only 35 percent of the respondents said they did not support the issue. Senator Margaret Rose Henry is expected soon to introduce legislation aimed at creating a taxed and regulated cannabis industry throughout the state. She recently testified before the state’s Medical Marijuana Act Oversight Committee that legalizing pot for recreational use “would be an uphill battle,” but she believes “it’s time to certainly look at” the issue.
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