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Two Southern States Show Majority Support for Medical Marijuana

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director January 16, 2013

    In another sign of the changing times, this past week two new polls have been released demonstrating majority support for allowing the medical use of marijuana in two southern states, a region historically less supportive of cannabis law reforms.

    A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling revealed that most North Carolinians believe that a doctor should possess the legal option to authorize marijuana for patients. Support for legalizing medical marijuana is at 58% overall, with 33% opposed and 9% undecided. A majority of every age group under age 65 supports allowing for the medical use of marijuana. The poll surveyed 608 North Carolina voters between January 10 and January 13, 2013.

    Another Public Policy Polling survey had the majority of West Virginians supporting the medical use of cannabis, 53% in favor to 40% opposed. Further, when asked which is a safer treatment for debilitating pain: the medical use of marijuana or Oxycontin, 63% responded medical marijuana. You can view more data from this poll here.

    Legislation to allow for the medical use of cannabis is expected to be introduced in both states this year. If you live in North Carolina, you can currently use NORML’s Take Action Center to write your elected officials and tell them to support this legislation by clicking here.

    These recent polls are indicative of the attitude shift towards cannabis that is occurring across the country. Check NORML’s Take Action Center to see if marijuana related legislation has been filed in your state and use our form to easily contact your elected officials in support of these important measures. Check back often, as new legislation is being introduced constantly.

    55 Responses to “Two Southern States Show Majority Support for Medical Marijuana”

    1. Jacob says:

      This is great, except West Virginia is not a Southern state, either geographically or based on American history.

    2. Ben says:

      NORML team – good work, always.

      Question:
      Is your thinking that the nation’s embrace for MMJ a useful step towards its legalization?

      It would seem likely its classification would have to be lowered, to at least a more reasonable level…


      the reason I ask, is I am not sure how to feel and think relative to MMJ, as it CLEARLY has its medical benefits, but, frankly, much of my own usage would still fall into an optional recreational termed setting, (much like a glass of wine, versus a row of whiskey shots.)

      Thank you, team NORML.
      You represent us well.

      To my fellow readers:
      Do what you can to support NORML,
      these initiatives, and reach out to your Representatives!

      [Editor’s note: Thanks for your kind regards and NORML’s long embrace and support for medical cannabis is an important component of moving public opinion away from fearing cannabis to embracing its safety and use.

      After CA citizens voted for the first medical cannabis initiative in 1996, there was a marked increase in public support for legalization overall nationwide.

      NORML supports all levels of reform, but is most keen on outright legalization.]

    3. I see the hub of the South is sucking the hind teat as usual on this cutting edge issue. Come on Georgia get your head out of your @$$ and lets legalize cannabis in this legislative session. What are we waiting for on this issue?

    4. I live in WV. and I didn’t hear of any poll being taken, I belief cannabis should be Legalize too.

    5. C++ says:

      Don’t be like Delaware. Medical Cannabis is legal but it cannot be utilized due to the governor of Delaware wanting further proof that the feds won’t prosecute state employees for working in the department that actually sells it to the public.

    6. John McClane says:

      im willing to bet its majority support in all of them. However, none (0) have ballot initiatives! We need to change this too.

    7. fishcreekbob says:

      I saw the poll at wtrfty.com in Wheeling but they quickly took it off. Wish they’d hurry up.

    8. Jonathan says:

      umm west virgina is not a southern state. it is above the mason dixon line. I want to know about Georgia.

    9. mexweed says:

      Good polling news from NC but watch out, the Big 2WackGo oligarchs that control politic$ in that state will need to be paid off!

      Insulting as it sounds, they will have to be granted a profitable role in cannabis supply, user services and so forth, but maybe a bargain can be extracted that THEY CEASE AND DESIST TO MAKE AND SELL 6,000,000/year deadly $igarettes. Tobacco-growing will be reduced to 1/20 of its present land use and only heirloom non-inhalant (puffpipe, cigar) varieties produced. The $igarette machines will be used to roll Brownspliffs loaded with high quality POTting soil and a
      POTseed for fast efficient HEMP PLANTING on former tobacco lands followed in a year or two by reforestation, hemp being a superior precursor crop for TREES.

    10. disvet13 says:

      i believe the mason-dixon line stands as the boundary between the north and south, making west virginia the first of the geographically southern states. but our biggest drawback is it’s owned by the rockefellers, and we all know the rockefellers are instrumental in the prohibition of cannabis. we have been a slave state to the business interests of the rockys, in coal, oil, gas, timber, alcohol and tobacco, and unfortunately medicine. the carpetbagger has robbed one of the richest natural resources areas for over 100 years and we remain one of the poorest. poor dumb hillbillies have fed off the crumbs thrown to them for so long they don’t have enough sense to see the parallel to moonshine prohibition, or the oxy and meth wars. rockys got them just where he wants them, the ones that really fight for criminalization are the religious ones. by lumping marijuana with oxy and meth the propaganda machine instills a sense of moral obligation to continue believing the devil weed is evil.

    11. […] NORML reports on polling: In another sign of the changing times, this past week two new polls have been released demonstrating majority support for allowing the medical use of marijuana in two southern states, a region historically less supportive of cannabis law reforms. […]

    12. Josh says:

      So Alabama is putting forth a bill on this issue as well. And Georgia is trying to put fourth legislation as well, but it is a very small group of people. Please guys if you read this will you put up some issues from georgia. There is progress in georgia but if you guys dont even publicize it, how will georgians know to act?

      http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/20361432/push-to-decriminalize-marijuana-to-launch-in-ga

      http://woodstock.patch.com/articles/georgia-marijuana-reform-group-sets-legislative-agenda

    13. green beans says:

      down here in the good ole bible belt north carolina we love our marijuana and we love to be conservative. those of us who are balzy enough to blaze a trail for mmj have to be patient because it’s probably gonna take considerable time for the decision~makers to realize how much money and jobs their buddies in other states are creating. personally, i wish they would hurry up so i may have fantastic indicas to choose from for pain instead of MAYBE getting indica~based bud from a friend…stupid.

    14. grandma3d says:

      Hey fellow tokers
      Life, it is so great to be alive at this time. It is so exciting! We are in the middle of a great historical change. A change for the better of us all. There will be a shift in our economy, and end to the useless and utterly ridiculous war and drugs. There is no limit to how much this will change American history, economically, socially, and judisiously. With NORML in the for front of it all. Thank you NORML

      Show your support by making a much deserved donation to NORML of $10-$20 a month. Don’t say you can’t afford it. Ten dollars is only .33 cents a day. Surely you can afford that. Pledge your support for NORML, do it today.

    15. msgtvance says:

      Wereas West Virginia is in reality a northern state, Kentucky which is a southern state is at this time debating SB11 a medical marijuana bill. If you are from Kentucky please call the Legislative Hot Line at 1-800-372-7181 and tell them to message all legislators to support and passs this bill!!!

    16. Banjo Brad says:

      As a native of Tennessee I can tell you that although the people here are not racist by in large ( as is the stereotype)but the drug war most certainly is. And lets not forget 90 percent of all black people live in the south according to the past 3 census reports. The drug war basically started in the south and is deep rooted in fear of drugs and people that are different . When the war on marijuana ends here it will be the death blow to this very bad legislation .

    17. Bhonze says:

      Any news about legalizeing is great but thats not the south.Try LA,MS,AL,GA,SC,FL…The Dirty South!!!

    18. Bhonze says:

      It would be Awsome for Legalization in LA, it would be great to walk around the French Quater smoken a Joint, oh I already do that anyway. It would just be great not to be worried about it and sit and listen to some Jazz while fire’en up!

    19. […] separate surveys by Public Policy Polling show a majority of folks in North Carolina and West Virginia supporting allowing medical marijuana in the two southern states — a region that has not been very supportive of cannabis law […]

    20. Chris says:

      In my opinion we will be able to tell when the end of cannabis prohibition is; when the State of Florida considers any type of legalization.
      Why do I say look to Florida; because Florida will be the biggest looser financially if cannabis is legalized, think about all that money in federal grants and the seizures fighting the “drug war” that now is a lot less in the budget; the companies that are in the background supplying support(campaign contributors) will be losing money.
      Then there is the big reason; all the old people and the pharmaceutical drugs.
      The “big pharma” or pharmaceutical companies and campaign contributors; will lose huge amounts of money if cannabis is legalized. Why pay for pills when I can grow my own plant for free?
      There are more scientific studies from all over the world that conclude cannabis is a much safer treatment for many illness’s and the elderly people are starting to wake up to this fact, slowly.
      So when you see a change in Florida then to me the end of cannabis prohibition will be near.

    21. Anonymous says:

      It’ll still be a long time until these Southernerns figure it out . The South isn’t known for their intelligence .

    22. wbs 101 says:

      Only 63% think marijuana is safer than Oxycontin! The other 37% need their heads examined.

    23. A says:

      North Carolina has a republican legislature and governor. It’s not happening in NC anytime soon.

    24. Kimmy says:

      Any news on Tennessee? ): Our state seriously sucks. Wish they’d at least take the first step!

    25. Kimmy says:

      And to Banjo Brad… people in TN are TOTALLY racist. I don’t know which part YOU live in, But East TN is TERRIBLE about it. ): It’s sick. Moving out of here is DEFINITELY on my to-do list. lol

    26. Stone Mountain says:

      “Come on Georgia get your head out of your @$$ and lets legalize cannabis in this legislative session.
      —-
      Not gonna happen this session, wide support seems to be lacking. IMHO A couple more states will have to fall before efforts in GA bear any fruit. But Josh is correct the effort that does exist needs more attention.

      “What are we waiting for on this issue?”

      Voters to press and support members of the legislature in favor of it. It’s going to take more time in GA.

      “The South isn’t known for their intelligence.”

      Insulting those that live in southern states isn’t going to help the cause, quit the opposite.

    27. Shane says:

      West Virginia is a southern state…both geographically and historically

    28. somedood says:

      Screw Medical status… LEGALIZE AND REGULATE. STOP THE BS!

    29. Ray DiPasquale says:

      Florida has no socila conscience only a corporate conscience, it will be the last hold out to continue punitive Draconian ways, back asswards swamp.

    30. […] Two Southern States Show Majority Support for Medical Marijuana | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform. […]

    31. […] Jon Kennedy, an officer with the North Carolina branch of NORML, said the poll results confirm what his organization has believed all along. “The people of North Carolina are beginning to understand that marijuana is safer than alcohol and are demanding a change in how we spend our tax dollars. Just because someone is politically and socially conservative doesn’t mean they blindly support failed policies like the War on Drugs. In fact, many conservatives accurately see this as another example of government overreach. Why are we wasting billions of dollars of taxpayer money arresting people for a non-toxic plant that can actually improve their quality of life? Why don’t we take the law enforcement resources we devote to marijuana and use them instead to pursue violent criminals? Sure, there can be drawbacks with overuse of anything we ingest, but those are better handled by education and personal responsibility than by the criminal justice system. It’s past time that we broke the taboo on discussing this openly in North Carolina. We should join the serious national conversation now underway.” * * * / * * * Find the original post HERE. […]

    32. Dennis King says:

      Help us in Florida !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    33. Chris says:

      Actually WV was mostly confederate during the civil war, but that said North or South doesn’t matter, people being able to choose does matter…

    34. […] those surveyed support medical marijuana. Thirty-three percent oppose it and 9% are undecided. The poll was taken between January 10 and January 13, 2013 and reached 608 random voters. In each age group below 65, […]

    35. drew says:

      It may be a big step for medicinal use but I see things like this as a step away from recriational use. If it’s available for a medicine it will just add fuel to the opposers of recreational use. I do know how important it is as a medicine for those who need it but it should be available to all who need it and want it. The use of which should be done responsibly and without prejudice from those who don’t agree with it’s availability because it’s none of their business what I do responsibly and in the privacy of my own home. I don’t see it happening for neither medicinal nor recriational in Alabama where I live. I’ll just have to stick to my alcohol until it does, but it should be my choice and not the choice of the law.

    36. Benjamin Eaton says:

      Check out this video about pot…rethink the leaf, YES!…amazing!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iq0ugpXuZI

    37. Georgia says:

      GOD YOU LISTENING? HEEEEEELP!!!!!!!!!!!

    38. Naes Mahgnitton says:

      I have fibromyalgia, and marijuana is the only thing other than EXTREMELY dangerous opioids that soothes my pain. This country is going to keep pot illegal and drive me into full blown addiction to painkillers. So sad, and so dumb…

    39. Bhonze says:

      Hey everyone in Mississippi lets support Senator Dawkins new MMJ bill for 2013 SB2369; Contact your reps…

    40. “John McClane says:
      January 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      im willing to bet its majority support in all of them. However, none (0) have ballot initiatives! We need to change this too.”

      John, this is not correct in NC. We have SB577 that has been tabled twice. We’re lobbying on February 12, we need to show up in droves. Rally your troops in NC!

      Don’t underestimate the south. A lot of people here really are dumb, but a lot of them are just playing dumb because they’re passive-aggressive. And as mentioned above, they really don’t like government overreach here.

      Whoever said above it’s going to come down to the big boys making money hit the nail on the head. We have a mini Bush/Cheney team in the state house now: the dumb guy is governor, and the creepy puppet master is budget director that nobody’s ever heard of.

      Believe me, once they figure out how to divide up the pie, it’s a done deal. The ray of hope that I see here, well there’s two:

      1. The man behind the curtain in North Carolina (Art Pope, http://www.artpopeexposed.com) is a Koch acolyte. David Koch is 420 friendly, proving that there is no pure evil. So they may be open to it on Libertarian grounds. This will all depend on the state of their back room deals with prison/tobacco industries.

      2. The fact that we have so many veterans here means we can provide a very conservative way for them to save face/pretend it’s not about the money, but about patriotism.

      and come to mention it

      3. It can be their little way of thumbing their nose at Obama, which will test market very, very well here.

      Keep the faith
      Xavier Onassis, EMT-P

    41. Also, whoever said NC isn’t in the south, I dare you to come here and say that.

    42. California Carl says:

      South Carolina will be the last one to even consider any change to the MMJ laws. Thats because the good ol boys are making to much money on sales, court cost and punishment. Ask anyone who lives here.

    43. RBH says:

      You are correct , Carl. I live in SC and unfortunately agree we are probably gonna be dead last to pass any laws legalizing….Sad.

    44. […] View Original Article » var hupso_services_t=new Array("Twitter","Facebook","Google Plus","Linkedin","StumbleUpon","Digg","Reddit","Bebo","Delicious");var hupso_toolbar_size_t="small";var hupso_twitter_via = "tcmjdotnet";var hupso_counters_lang = "en_US";var hupso_counters_lang="en_US";var hupso_twitter_via="tcmjdotnet";var hupso_title_t="Two Southern States Show Majority Support for Medical Marijuana"; age groupcommunications directorlegal optionnormlsouthern states […]

    45. jimidickallen says:

      To RBH and California Carl..if you knew your history you would both know you are wrong. SC was the first state ever to allow medical marijuana. Google it. They did however impose other laws to nullify medical use

    46. jimidickallen says:

      Update!!! It still is legal. Under the south Carolina therapeutic studies act of 1979 (or something relatively close) was passed in 1980 so that Dr.s could advise the use of mmj to those with aids, glacoma, and cancer. Making it the first state to allow mmj.

    47. Ricy Mardona says:

      Awesome information. This really help me a lot.

    48. Daniel says:

      In South Carolina We had a vote along time ago on medical MJ but it was not advertized until the last minute to advertize it. All We would have to do is include pain management in it.

    49. leslie says:

      we want it in nc

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