This past weekend I got to attend the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference. At the conference I got to hear former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson speak, and one of the things that resonated with me was when he was talking about the disconnect between politicians and American voters when it comes to marijuana policy. He pointed out that an overwhelming number of Americans want to see marijuana legalized, yet many politicians keep their head in the sand. A new poll was released yesterday by Beyond the Beltway which found the following:
- A majority of voters agree with lowering the punishment for possession of marijuana. Voters across all major demographics agree (72%) that punishment for possession of small amounts of marijuana should be reduced from arrest and possible jail times to fines of $25 to $100 dollars. Even among Republicans (68%) and conservatives (63%), support lowering the punishment for possession.
- Over six in ten voters agree with legalizing state-regulated sales of marijuana. 61% of voters agree that state-regulated sales of marijuana should be legal. Republicans are practically split on legalization. However, 59% of GOP voters under the age of 50 support state-regulated sales of marijuana across the country.
Only 39% of Americans think that marijuana prohibition is working, and that number dwindles with every day that goes by. Only 28% of Americans think that marijuana possession should be a crime. That number also dwindles every day. It's way past time for politicians to wake up and get on the right side of history.