Majority of Americans Believe Marijuana is “Socially Acceptable”
A survey of Americans’ views on marijuana found that a majority of people think the drug is “socially acceptable” — a position that may put them at odds with USAG Jeff Sessions, who once said that a marijuana habit is only “slightly less awful” than heroin.
The poll, conducted in March by Marist in partnership with Yahoo News, surveyed 1,122 US adults and found that 56% said using marijuana was socially acceptable, compared with 42% who said it was socially unacceptable and 2% who were “unsure.”
The survey also revealed that 49% of respondents said they supported legalizing Recreational Marijuana (RM).
To date, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia have all legalized RM. But the drug is still illegal at the federal level, as it is still federally classified as a Schedule 1 drug, the same as is heroin.
The Obama Admin moved away from enforcing federal drug law in the states that had legalized cannabis for recreation or medical uses.
USAG Sessions has indicated he wants to revive the “war on drugs”, that is taken to mean heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, and might also, but not likely, mean taking a stiffer stance on enforcing federal cannabis policy.
However, as the new Marist/Yahoo News poll found, marijuana use is fairly widespread in the US, as 52% of respondents said they had tried the drug at least once, and 54% of people who said they use marijuana are parents.
If USAG Sessions, and The Trump Administration moves forward on plans against the use of cannabis, it would be an unpopular decision.
The poll found that only 30% of respondents thought that The Trump Administration should be tougher than former President Barack Hussein Obama on enforcing federal laws against the recreational use of marijuana.
The NY-T’s reports that Terry Garrett, a cannabis analyst based in California, estimates that American consumers spend at least $50-B a year on marijuana. By contrast, legal marijuana sales total around $7-B according to data compiled by BDS Analytics, a company that specializes in data on the cannabis market.
American cannabis laws and politics are now very contradictory.
Cannabis growers in Colorado and in the other states where cannabis cultivation is legal are regulated and taxed.
Greater enforcement of the federal ban does not appear to be imminent. Russ Baer, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said “nothing has changed in terms of our enforcement approach.”
The DEA remains concerned about diversion of marijuana to the black market, Mr. Baer said, but its priorities are focused elsewhere.
“Our attention is so focused on the opioid epidemic right now,” he said. “That’s where we have committed the vast majority of our resources.”
The aggressive moves in the Salinas Valley in California into large-scale cannabis farming, replete with plans for conveyor belts and high-efficiency Dutch-built greenhouses, are already roiling the industry according to the NY-T’s.
Some are worried that the marijuana business is getting too big too fast and predict a glut of California marijuana and sharp price declines.
Growers in recent years have already reported steady declines in wholesale prices of marijuana, although retail prices have remained relatively steady across the nation where it is legal.
However, overproduction is also a concern in the industry both because it could push down prices and because California cannabis could flood the markets of other states.
Editors Note: California produces more cannabis than it consumes, 3X as much, by conservative estimates.