The most recent Gallup poll on the support from Americans for cannabis legalization is illuminating in several respects.
Two-thirds of the U.S. population continue to support full cannabis legalization (66 percent). Gallup conducted this survey from October 1 – 13. In other words, it comes with media-fueled hysteria over cannabis vaping health issues at its peak.
The media has grossly sensationalized this regulatory failure by the U.S. government, referring to it as a “crisis” or even an “epidemic”.
In the three months that the mainstream media has provided saturation coverage of this issue, there have been less than 30 deaths reported from tainted vaping products (mostly illegal vapes). In contrast, (legal) tobacco use kills over 1,300 Americans every day (~500,000% more deaths). That is a crisis and an epidemic.
Cannabis is safe.
The legal cannabis being cultivated today is 10 times as potent as the cannabis that was previously criminalized as (supposedly) “a dangerous drug”. Even with this high-potency weed, no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose.
As Americans obtain greater access to cannabis, they are acquiring first-hand knowledge. And the more they get to know about cannabis, the less they fear it and the more they like it. Sales numbers out of Colorado demonstrate this.
Colorado has the world’s most mature legal cannabis industry. Yet the state has reported record cannabis revenues in four of the last five months.
Along with support for cannabis legalization remaining strong, Gallup’s latest poll confirms that a majority of Republican voters support cannabis legalization (51 percent). This reflects the results from two polls in April 2019 that showed 56 percent support and 55 percent support, respectively.
This eliminates the excuse of many GOP politicians that their personal opposition to cannabis legalization “reflects the will of their constituents”. Now, when Republican politicians obstruct legalization they do so without political cover.
This is particularly important with the SAFE cannabis banking bill presently before the Senate for consideration. Passage of SAFE is extremely important for the legal cannabis industry in the U.S.
Yet success here remains in doubt due to opposition from several, key Republican Senators, notably the Grim Reaper himself, Mitch McConnell. With confirmation of national support from Republican voters for full cannabis legalization, this further isolates Republican politicians who stand in the way.
Indeed, McConnell recently had a “private” (but highly publicized) lunch with representatives from the U.S. legal cannabis industry. We asked the question, who was courting whom here?
At the political level, cannabis legalization remains a complicated and heavily politicized issue. Like most of U.S. politics.
Meanwhile, the issue of cannabis legalization itself couldn’t be simpler.
Cannabis has many health-promoting properties. It has numerous medicinal applications. Americans want cannabis for recreational use (because it is safe/benign). They need it for its medicinal properties. And a majority of voters of both political stripes (as well as Independents) support full legalization.
It’s time for the politicians to put the cannabis politics aside and do their sworn duty.