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Polls Find Maryland And Florida Ready For Marijuana Reform

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legalize marijuana cannabis safe safetyBy Phillip Smith

Polls from two more states this week show an increasing acceptance of the need to reform marijuana laws. In a Florida poll, Sunshine State voters said they were ready to back medical marijuana, while in a Maryland poll, Old Line State voters said they were ready to decriminalize and/or legalize the weed.

Voters in the two states are joining a growing cavalcade of marijuana reform supporters in state polls, some of them in places where the support seemed unlikely. Just in the month of September, different polls showed majority support for marijuana legalization in Louisiana, majority support for decriminalization and a near majority (47%) for legalization in Michigan, majority support for decriminalization and medical marijuana in Oklahoma, and majority support for legalization in California.

In Florida, where the Right to Medical Marijuana Initiativesignature-gathering campaign is underway, a Public Policy Polling survey found support for a medical marijuana ballot measure at 62%, with only 26% opposed and 12% undecided.

That poll found strong support for medical marijuana among Democrats (68%) and independents (74%). And while there wasn’t majority support among Republicans, more Republicans supported medical marijuana (46%) than opposed it (41%).

In Maryland, a Public Policy Polling survey found nearly three-quarters (72%) support for medical marijuana, more than two-thirds (68%) for decriminalization, and a slight majority (53%) for legalization. (The legalization question asked: “Would you support or oppose changing Maryland law to make marijuana legal for adults 21 and over, and regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol?”)

The poll was commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project and the ACLU of Maryland, both of which have been working with the state legislature in Annapolis to loosen pot penalties. This year, the legislature approved a medical marijuana program, but rejected efforts to decriminalize or legalize marijuana.

“Most Maryland voters recognize that marijuana prohibition has failed and believe it is time to adopt a more sensible approach,” said Rachelle Yeung, legislative analyst for MPP. “By regulating marijuana like alcohol we can take marijuana sales out of the underground market and put them behind the counters of legitimate, tax-paying businesses. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and it is time to treat it that way.”

“Our current marijuana prohibition policies are grossly ineffective,” said Sara Love, public policy director for the ACLU of Maryland. “It’s time to take a commonsense approach to public safety and criminal justice. We should not be wasting resources arresting people simply for possessing marijuana. Enforcement of these misguided marijuana laws is having a disproportionate and detrimental impact on communities of color. A majority of voters agree it is time for a change.”

Elected officials are supposed to lead, but when it comes to marijuana law reform, it is becoming increasingly clear that the public is going to have to lead the elected officials by their noses.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.org - Creative Commons Licensing - Donate

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Johnny Green

13 Comments

  1. Anyone else from Maryland regularly check this site? Im lookin for some like minded people around here with some good bud or some good contacts. I can always get something but its often hit or miss with the quality around here.

  2. Just so we’re all on the same page — you’ve posted three links to ONE instance of guns being seized in the wake of HURRICANE KATRINA.
    Care to find an instance of guns being seized because of a new gun law and *not* because of a natural catastrophe, chuckles?
    I’ll just go right ahead and wait for you to google your eyes out.

  3. Is pot the consultation prize in this scenario? Wow, cannabis relegated to something not as good as a gun. I guess I’m having difficulty understanding that…

  4. Gosh golly, Ian — so glad you survived, but now that you’re out of the warzone, you should work on the skills that will maintain your readjustment, like reading comprehension. No one is coming to LITERALLY take your guns. That was the point of my post. You see, despite all of our grand-standing, our nation is chalk-full of idiots who own weapons they WEREN’T trained to use. Instead of making it more difficult for non-military to purchase weapons only ever intended for war, we’re making it easier for someone with ZERO training to handle weapons that, in all likelihood, will be used to kill a family member, not an intruder.

    So beat your chest over the TOTAL FABRICATION that is “they’re coming for your guns” — you’re only demonstrating how little you understand. I grew up in a military family, but I was fortunate enough that my father bothered to ask himself and ponder the question “What is freedom?” instead of blindly fighting for a word bereft of objective meaning. To me, it means freedom of speech, freedom of/from religion, a right to privacy, equal representation, and safety from government persecution. To you, it means stockpiling weapons.

    Here’s a secret about the military — nobody flags gun nuts for OTS. The best leaders — the ones that don’t march their men into suicide missions — are the ones who detest violence. They don’t embrace it like an old buddy, or build alters of violence inside a gun cabinet. They care more about their country and the men and women under their command more than getting their ya-ya’s out shooting people.

  5. let them try to take my weapons away, they trained me how to use them in the BSA and the US Army but my dad was the first to teach me safety and how to shoot

  6. I was an MP with out the barney fife bullet, WTF good is an empty .45 except to beat someone into submission, good old Carter he hated the military LOL I got kick out of the MP’s for smoking weed, didn’t care, what a bunch of back stabbers the MP’s were, spent the next 2 years in the motor pool in Edgewood. smoked a lot of weed once out of the MP’s

  7. ah the proving grounds…I got to test equipment there when I was in the 82nd…….they gave us heavy weapons to play with lol

  8. Ian Mackenzie on

    really, I spent 2 and half years at Aberdeen MD in the Army . they didn’t hand out guns to us either WTF

  9. Really? So, they literally came into your home and TOOK them?

    That’s awful! You should call the news right now…

    I mean, unless of course you’re speaking hyperbolically and none of that happened — you’re just upset about some new restrictions on the purchase of weapons you don’t even own, as they would have been grandfathered into any legislation, like every gun bill that has any chance of passing.

    So do me a solid favor — don’t conflate the pathetically meager efforts to lessen the proliferation of weapons in our disgustingly over-armed populace with the effort to re-legalize a harmless, nontoxic plant.

    Kay? Kay.

  10. Wasnt there a poll in early 2010 showing 58% of California supporting legalizing marijuana right after prop 19 made the ballot? Guess what happened later that year on election day!

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