When California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, this was a very progressive move that separated the state from the rest of the nation in many ways. From then until now, more and more people across the country have come to support the legalization of marijuana. This was first an effort to legalize medical marijuana, and now many are supporting the legalization of marijuana for recreational use as well.
According to a recent news article from Washington Post, a new survey is showing that public support for legalization of marijuana was at the highest it has ever been in 2016. This does not mean it is sloping down this year, as the survey only included results through 2016.Looking at the actual numbers, the most recent results show that 57 percent of all Americans support the legalization of marijuana. In 2014, results showed that 52 percent of Americans favored the legalization of marijuana. While there has been a majority of Americans favoring legalization for quite some time, this constitutes a statistically significant increase over the past few years.
This survey is conducted every two years and is considered the most accurate barometer of the support for the legalization of marijuana. The reason it is considered so accurate is because of the sound methodology involved in collecting the data.
While there is clearly a majority who supports legalization efforts, the survey results do show there is an unequal breakdown among the various age brackets. For example, more than 66 percent of survey participants aged 18 to 34 support legalization, yet only 42 percent of seniors over the age of 64 support legalization. The fact that the younger group of respondents favor legalization of marijuana to a greater extent is consistent with the growing trend of support for legalization. Therefore, it is likely that as the younger group ages, they will continue to support legalization of marijuana, and the entire percentage of Americans supporting legalization will increase in kind.
However, as Orange County medical marijuana lawyers can explain, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana still remain illegal pursuant to federal law. This is because marijuana was added to the highest schedule on the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (USCSA) of 1970. This means that Congress considered marijuana to be extremely dangerous and addictive as well as lacking in any legitimate medical use. Despite the fact this could not be further from the truth, Congress has routinely refused to reschedule or even remove marijuana from the USCSA.
This means that, at any time, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could crack down on marijuana dispensaries in states where it is legal pursuant to state law. This has not happened during the previous White House administration, but the current Attorney General has stated that “good people” do not smoke marijuana, and he intends to crack down on state legal marijuana once again. This puts many state legal businesses in fear, and if you are in this position, you should consult with a medical cannabis attorney to discuss your rights.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
Public support for marijuana legalization surged in 2016, March 29, 2017, By Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post
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Colorado Supreme Court Rules Cops Can’t be Compelled to Return Your Cannabis, March 1, 2017, Marijuana Attorney Blog