As more states have moved to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana, and with several states and the District of Columbia having moved to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, the upcoming election will see a handful of new states putting legalized marijuana on the ballot. According to a recent Gallup poll, an increasing number of Americans want to see marijuana legalized across the country. This marks a distinct shift in the American public’s view on legalized marijuana, showing that they wish to move from the current model where marijuana is criminalized on the federal level to one where marijuana use is legal in a regulated manner.
The latest poll numbers suggest the highest amount of support for legalized marijuana since Gallup began tracking this topic 47 years ago. According to the poll results, current support for marijuana legalization stands at 60%. This shows an increase from 2013 when support for legalization finally surpassed the 50% mark on the heels of the states of Colorado and Washington legalizing recreational marijuana use. The poll notes that the first time Gallup asked respondents whether or not marijuana should be legalized was in 1969 when only 12% of the population believed marijuana should be legalized.
The current numbers are statistically similar to recent polls conducted within the past two years involving the question of legalizing marijuana, so the poll cannot effectively gauge whether support for legalized marijuana is still slowly increasing or has stabilized. According to the poll, 5% of the American population currently lives in areas where marijuana use is legal. If measures should pass in states that will be deciding the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana during this election cycle – including California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada – as many as 25% of Americans could live in areas where marijuana use is legal.
Compared to poll numbers on the same topic from a decade ago, support for legalized marijuana has risen among all age groups. In 2005, 35% of adults nationwide believed that marijuana should be legalized. That number, as mentioned above, has risen to 60%. In the 55 and older age group, 2005 support for legalized marijuana stood at 29% compared to 45% this year. In the 35 to 54 age group, support rose from 35% in 2005 to 61% in 2016. The 18 to 34 age group saw support rise from 44% in 2005 to 77% this year. However, even with steadily increasing support for legalized marijuana, the federal government has not moved to reclassify marijuana and marijuana still remains illegal on the federal level.
Assistance with Colorado Drug-Related Charges
While medicinal and recreational use are legal in Colorado, it is important to be aware of the laws governing such use as well as new developments in those laws. It is still possible to incur severe penalties and consequences for violating Colorado marijuana laws, and if you are facing marijuana or other drug-related charges it is important to enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney that has worked with clients facing drug-related charges. The Colorado criminal defense attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm have the experience and dedication to clients that is necessary to work with individuals facing these types of charges. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more about the potential consequences associated with charges you may be facing as well as the potential options that may be available to you in your defense.