Marijuana legalization has won – Vox.com

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The US is nearing a tipping point of sorts on marijuana legalization: Nearly half the country — about 43% of their population — now lives in a country where marijuana is legal to consume only for fun.

It is a gigantic change that took place over only a few years. A decade before, zero states allowed marijuana for recreational usage; the very first states to legalize cannabis from 2012, Colorado and Washington, did so via voter-driven initiatives.

Now, the issue of nationwide marijuana legalization is more a matter of when, not if. At least two-thirds of their American people support the change, dependent on various public opinion surveys in the past several years.

Legalization has also made a huge new business in very populous states, such as California and (shortly ) New York, and that industry will push to continue expanding. Among the US’s neighbors, Canada, has already legalized pot, and the other, Mexico, is likely to legalize it shortly, making an worldwide market that would really like to tap US customers.

The walls are all closing in on this issue for legalization competitions — and quickly.

Many politicians have played it carefully in response to these trends. Although some high-profile Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have come from support, Biden has been oppose legalization. Republicans, for example Trump, are nearly completely opposed.

But now, their refusal comes off more as a final gasp than a movement which could hold back the tide of change. And the public has spoken quite clearly, time and again.

What’s less clear is how it’ll happen. Maybe it’ll be a gradual, state-by-state battle before the national government ends its own prohibition on cannabis, or maybe national action will lead to a flurry of states legalizing.

Marijuana legalization is very popular

In the course of two years, marijuana legalization has gone from a fringe issue to one the great majority of Americans adopt.

In 2000, only 31 percent of the country endorsed legalization while 64 percent , based on Gallup’s public surveys. By 2020, the figures turned: The most recent Gallup poll on the topic showed that 68 percent supported legalization and 32 percent were from it.

There are a few possible explanations for this reverse. The general collapse of this war on medication to really prevent widespread drug dependency (notice: the opioid epidemic), in addition to backlash to the punitive policies that the drug war brought, left lots of Americans craving new approaches. The public has begun to see marijuana as not so bad — less dangerous than legal drugs like alcohol or tobacco. The development of the internet likely sped up a number of these conversations, also, and also the spread of medical marijuana might have shown more Americans that the US could handle the drug’s legalization.

The trend toward legalization is found in the actual world, too. Oregon voters rejected a legalization measure in 2012, simply to approve another initiative two years later. Arizona Republicans said no to a legalization measure in 2016, simply to accept yet another only four years later.

Gallup found that a slight majority of Republicans endorsed it 2017, 2018, and 2019; a majority it in 2020, however the difference was within the margin of error, along with a sizable minority of 48 percent nevertheless backed legalization. Pew also found a vast majority of Republicans — 55 percent — endorsed legalization in 2019.

This Republican support is also seen in the actual world. From the 2020 election, Trump won Montana from 16 points and South Dakota from 26 points. In both states that same calendar year, most Republicans declared legalization initiatives, together with pretty strong margins of around 8 percent points in South Dakota and 16 percent points in Montana.

It is won in 3 of them, losing just in North Dakota. Marijuana legalization is 3-1 in solid red states!

There’s little reason to believe that these trends will change shortly.

There’s not much that could turn this round

There’s a world in which you could envision growing support for marijuana legalization suddenly collapsing. Maybe after Colorado, Washington, along with some other states legalized, things went very badly. Teen usage went up, together with car crashes, offense, ER visits associated with pot, along with other poor outcomes. Voters see that the error of their ways and alter path.

But that simply hasn’t occurred. In the states which have legalized, matters have generally gone good. There have been some worries about marijuana-laced edibles from the first days, but these concerns died out quickly as regulators instituted some new rules and retail outlets bolstered their advice to novices about how to absorb edibles. The colossal climbs in all the issue outcomes legalization opponents cautioned against not came into fruition.

A big inform this is how frequently politicians flip-flop to encourage legalization after their state legalizes and things proceed essentially fine. John Hickenlooper in 2012 stated he opposed the ballot measure, only to fully confirm legalization and brag about how his government executed it from the time that he ran for senator in 2020. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who opposed legalization during his 2012 run, stated in March that the one thing he would do otherwise is”[adopt ] this position of decriminalizing it sooner, had I understood how successful that was with not any really large growth in juvenile use, which has been an issue while we’re debating this”

Additionally, there are significant forces which will continue to encourage legalization and promote its growth. The US marijuana industry is now valued at more than $18 billion, also supporting the equivalent of over 300,000 fulltime jobs, more than the total amount of electrical engineers or dentists, based on this 2021 Leafly Jobs Report.

This is just a significant industry now, for better or worse. Any politician moving to shut down it risks incurring the anger of thousands and thousands of folks losing their own jobs. And because it is a promising business, there is a powerful financial incentive — between added jobs and tax revenue — to get more nations to adopt legalization.

And of course that this significant new business can now use its economic burden to back legalization measures, supplying much-needed funds to help get them over the finish line. This way, marijuana legalization’s success in the ballot box thus far will cause more success.

There are, clearly, still important barriers to full legalization nationwide. Marijuana stays completely illegal under national law, such as in states which have legalized it under their own statutes. International treaties prohibit states from abusing marijuana for recreational uses (although with Canada, Mexico, and Uruguay moving to legalize, it does not seem like anyone really cares). The majority of the US population still resides in a country that hasn’t legalized, and it’ll take a whole great deal of time and effort from legislatures and ballot boxes to alter that.

Nevertheless, it’s now quite clear where the trends are heading. It might take a few more years to become national fact, however marijuana legalization is still here to remain.

Source: https://www.vox.com/2021/4/12/22371929/marijuana-legalization-new-mexico-virginia-new-york-biden

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