No surprises here – a new poll indicates the vast majority of Americans support legalising medical marijuana.
The YouGov poll taken between October 31 and November 1 of 1195 U.S adults shows 78% believe medical marijuana should be legal and an additional 8% say it should be decriminalized. Just 5% of Americans feel medical marijuana should be illegal.
When it comes to the recreational side of things, the differences in attitudes are more pronounced. 48% say recreational marijuana should be legal, 19% decriminalized and 22% believing it should remain illegal.
An interesting question posed in the poll was whether a foreign person should be allowed into the country who has admitted to consuming marijuana in the past. This has particular importance now as just across the border in Canada, recreational cannabis was made legal last month and medicinal cannabis has been permitted at a national level for some time.
Initial reports had indicated U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency will treat participants in Canada’s cannabis industry as drug traffickers and deny entry. However, it changed its stance just prior to Canada’s legalisation, stating workers in the nation’s legal marijuana industry will “generally be admissible to the U.S.“.
As for what Americans think about the “foreigner” previous cannabis use issue, the YouGov poll indicates 64% believe they should be permitted in, 14% said they shouldn’t be allowed to enter the country and 22% didn’t know.
The results were published just as residents in 4 states were voting on marijuana issues in the U.S. midterms. Michigan and North Dakota residents were voting on recreational cannabis and those in Utah and Missouri on medicinal.
The results of those votes aside*, thirty-one states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalising cannabis for recreational and/or medicinal use, putting increasing pressure on the Federal Government to alter its stance.
The winds of change have been blowing at a federal level, although it’s probably more accurate to likening it to a light breeze at this point. Back in June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a UK company’s cannabis-based medicine for treatment of a couple of severe forms of paediatric epilepsy.
* Reports indicate that cannabis-related ballot measures passed in three states, Michigan, Utah and Missouri, while in North Dakota voters rejected rejected recreational marijuana.