According to a new Data for Progress poll, American voters have had enough of Archaic anti-cannabis laws. That’s right —nearly 75% of American voters across both parties support legalization, expunging prior convictions and the SAFE banking act.
Popular Opinion On Pot Policy
The support for cannabis legalization in the United States is overwhelming, and it spans political parties, age groups, and gender.
According to a recent poll, 74% of voters support expunging criminal records for people convicted of marijuana-related offenses. This includes Republicans and boomers—groups that have traditionally been opposed to cannabis use.
This overwhelming popular support for legalization is not reflected in politicians’ actions. While some states have legalized cannabis at the state level, others still enforce federal law banning cannabis use. Many politicians oppose legalizing cannabis even though their constituents overwhelmingly support it.
The Politicians Standing Up for Cannabis
America is finally waking up to the reality that cannabis legalization is a good thing. The majority of Americans support it, and many politicians are working to advance bills that reflect this support. They want to make sure that prohibition ends sooner rather than later, and they want to ensure that there are enough inclusions in federal policy to undo some of the damage done by the War on Drugs.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is expected to soon file the so-called SAFE Plus bill, which would expand access for medical marijuana patients and remove roadblocks for those seeking research licenses.
Schumer is one of the most outspoken advocates for cannabis. He and Democrats like Cory Booker and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are also important figures working to facilitate cannabis legalization within the federal government. All three Democrats have also collaborated on their proposals with Republicans, demonstrating the overwhelming bipartisan support for legalization, expungement, and banking protections. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) has been a key player in bipartisan negotiations
Schumer stated late last month that Congress is getting closer than ever to introducing and passing SAFE Plus, which is exciting news for cannabis business owners and consumers alike.
What’s Stopping Federal Legalization?
Federal legalization has been a hot topic of discussion in the United States. This is because many states have already legalized marijuana while others are still working on it. However, despite overwhelming popular support, Biden’s administration has done very little to improve cannabis policy.
Despite this, several bills are attempting to rectify these issues. For example, SAFE and MORE seek to end cannabis prohibition at the federal level; however, both bills have been stalled extensively.
Critics of legal marijuana cite the potential for confusion among law enforcement agencies keeping up with evolving regulations, concern about minors gaining access, and a potential drop in property values; however, there is no evidence validating any of these fears.
Currently, the federal government classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug—a category reserved for substances with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” That means that even though medical cannabis has been proven to be effective medicinally (directly contradicting the definition of schedule I substances), many people can’t access it.
It’s also a huge problem for business owners or those wanting to enter the legal cannabis industry. Instead of creating policies that would facilitate a smooth transition from the black market to a regulated one, the government has decided that it would be easier to do nothing and let insurers and investors alike refuse to work with legitimate businesses.
It’s clear that the majority of Americans support legalization, and we’re ready for change.
We hope our elected officials take this to heart and work on creating legislation to allow cannabis to be legalized federally. We want it to come with descheduling, expungement and pardons, banking protections, new guidelines for insurers, and updated regulations for research.
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