May 16, 2012

Cannabis Poll: Vast Majority of Voters Want Feds to Leave Legit Medical Marijuana Businesses Alone

Medical marijuana regulations, cannabis laws and general MMJ news

The MMJ movement is getting some support from an influential corner: Average, everyday Americans.

A survey released this week of 1,000 likely voters by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research found that 74% of respondents think the government should respect state laws on medical marijuana. Just 15% feel that the Obama administration should “use federal resources to arrest and prosecute individuals who are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.” The remaining 11% said they’re not sure what the government should do on the matter.

The results are consistent “with the clear and growing body of evidence that documents substantial voter support for the legalization of medical marijuana,” Larry Harris, a principal with Mason-Dixon, said in a release.

These types of polls should be taken with a grain of salt. There’s a new survey nearly every week that shows support for or against various medical marijuana issues, and sometimes they all blur together.

But this one is particularly significant for one reason: It shows that the general public disagrees with the course Obama is taking with MMJ. It should come as no surprise that the federal crackdown on the industry is highly unpopular with marijuana professionals. Now, there’s evidence that it’s unpopular with voters as well, and that could sway Obama’s actions in an election year.

Other findings from the survey:

– There’s no discernible difference in views by gender, with 73% of men and 74% of women saying that the government should back off states with MMJ laws.

– By age group, those 65 and older showed the strongest support for arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana professionals, with 21% taking that view. On the other end of the spectrum, those between the ages of 18 and 34 showed the strongest support for respecting state medical cannabis laws and easing up on the industry, with 81% backing that strategy.

– As expected, most Democrats (75%)  support state medical marijuana laws. But surprisingly, nearly 70% of Republicans support that stance as well.

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