In the United States, the vast majority of people support the legalization of medical marijuana. More importantly and now confirmed undoubtedly, more than half want recreational pot legal, as well. These are the figures gathered by a new poll, recently released by Analytics of Rochester, New York, and Harris Insights. The poll, conducted online, surveyed more than 2,000 adults from all lifestyles.
This latest poll found 85 percent of participants demanding full legalization of medical marijuana, with 57 percent of them in support of making it legal for recreational use too. The data gathered found specific generations divided on the topic of recreational weed. Those younger than 34-years of age are predominantly in favor of it at 67 percent, compared to the 38 percent supportive in those 65-years or older.
Back in January, the Pew Research Center conducted its own poll and found results to be very similar. In the Pew poll, 61 percent of those surveyed supported legalized weed. The numbers of support have been steadily rising for decades now: Back in 1990, only 16 percent of the population favored legalized cannabis. By 2000, the number had grown significantly to 31 percent. It now sits at 67 percent today.
In Pennsylvania, the legalization movement is spreading rapidly. In April 2016, Governor Thomas Wolf signed a bill into law making cannabis legal for medical purposes. This February, the state’s first dispensaries opened their doors and, according to data gathered by the state, well over 6,000 medical patients have bought weed at a dispensary in Pennsylvania since then.
That state intends granting new licenses to 23 different dispensaries and 13 cultivators by the time this year ends, which would double the current size of the Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. Originally, Pennsylvania law only permitted the sale of heavily processed cannabis, such as concentrated pills, oils, and tinctures. Starting this week, however, dispensaries may now sell “dry leaf” buds.
Cannabis flowers remain the most popular method of consumption worldwide, and they are notably cheaper for Pennsylvanians. However, the law remains strict about “dry leaf” products: Patients may only vaporize them, as smoking buds remains illegal. Some politicians in Pennsylvania are pushing to have recreational marijuana legalized soon, and they are going about it guns blazing.
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto held a joint press conference on July 19. The purpose of this meeting was to call publically for the legalization of recreational weed for anyone in Pennsylvania 21-years or older. According to DePasquale, a legal pot industry would generate around $500 million a year in annual tax revenues for state coffers.