• by NORML March 27, 2020

    A majority of Americans agree with states’ decisions to classify licensed medical cannabis facilities as “essential services” to the community – a designation that permits them to maintain retail operations during regional ‘stay-at-home’ orders.

    Nationwide polling data compiled by YouGov.com reported that 53 percent of respondents believe that medical marijuana dispensaries “should be considered essential services.” Support was strongest among self-identified Democrats (62 percent), but was significantly lower among Republicans (43 percent).

    To date, over a dozen states have explicitly designated certain licensed cannabis providers as “essential services.” In several other jurisdictions, regulators have either relaxed protocols or moved forward with new, emergency rules to facilitate expanded access – such as permitting patients to seek telemedicine appointments and allowing dispensaries to permit curbside pick-up and home delivery.

    State Policies Coordinator Carly Wolf said, “The reality that a growing number of jurisdictions have taken these important steps is further evidence of the degree to which above-ground cannabis access is now widely recognized to be an essential part of the fabric of our society, and is regarded as being crucial to patients’ health and welfare.”

    NORML is providing a summary the regional policies governing retail cannabis access during the COVID-19 outbreak here. NORML will continue to update these policies accordingly in the coming days and weeks.

  • by NORML November 14, 2019

    Marijuana PollMore than two out of three US adults believe that the personal use of cannabis should be legal, according to nationwide polling data compiled and released today by the Pew Research Center.

    Sixty-seven percent of respondents say that the “use of marijuana should be made legal.” That is the highest percentage of support ever recorded by Pew, which has been surveying Americans’ attitudes on marijuana policy since 1969. Public support for legalization has more than doubled in the past decade.

    The Pew survey is the fourth national poll released in recent weeks showing majority support for cannabis legalization. Recently compiled polling data by Gallup and the Public Religion Research Institute both reported that two-thirds of Americans endorse legalization, while survey data compiled by Harvard reported that 62 percent of US adults back the policy change.

    Consistent with other national surveys, support for adult-use legalization was strongest among self-identified Democrats (78 percent) and Millennials (76 percent), but was weaker among Republicans (55 percent) and those born before 1945 (35 percent).

    According to Pew, in 1989 only 16 percent of US adults believed that cannabis should be legalized.

    “The percentage of the public who favors adult-use marijuana legalization has skyrocketed over the past three decades and shows no signs of abating,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “As more and more states have moved forward with their own marijuana liberalization policies in recent years, public support has only grown stronger. At a time when the political divides is larger than ever, the issue of marijuana legalization is one of the few policy issues upon which most Americans agree.”

  • by NORML November 5, 2019

    Marijuana PollMore than six in ten US adults say that they favor “changing federal law to legalize marijuana for recreational use,” according to national polling data compiled by Politico and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It is the third national survey released within the past month showing strong majority support among Americans for legalizing marijuana.

    Sixty-two percent of respondents endorsed legalization and 69 percent of respondents said that they supported allowing the substance to be sold at retail via state-licensed stores. Support for legalization was strongest among self-identified Independents (69 percent) and Democrats (67 percent). Slight majorities also said that they supported the establishment of state-licensed cannabis cafes (52 percent) and were comfortable with recreational marijuana facilities operating in their local neighborhoods (53 percent).

    Consistent with prior polls, most of those respondents residing in adult-use legal states favor the policy change. Sixty-four percent of respondents said that “legalizing marijuana for recreational use … has been a good thing.”

    Commenting on the poll results, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said: “At a time when the political divides is larger than ever, the issue of marijuana legalization is one of the few policy issues upon which most Americans agree. With eleven states now having legalized the adult use of cannabis, citizens of all ages and ideologies are seeing the benefits of regulation and rejecting the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. We expect to see public support to continue to grow in 2020 as more and more states implement sensible cannabis regulatory policies.”

    The poll possesses a margin of error of +/-3.4 percentage points.

  • by NORML November 4, 2019

    Use of the term ‘cannabis’ instead of ‘marijuana’ does not influence the public’s perception of the plant or their attitudes, according to data published in the journal PLOS One.

    Researchers affiliated with Vanderbilt University in Tennessee surveyed a nationally representative sampling of adults regarding the terms ‘marijuana or ‘cannabis.’ Specifically, authors examined whether framing the substance as ‘marijuana’ as opposed to ‘cannabis’ shapes public attitudes across a range of related topics: support for legalization of the drug, moral acceptance of its use, tolerance of activities involving the drug, perceptions of the drug’s harms, and stereotypes of its users.

    Investigators reported: “We find no support for the notion that changing the name of the drug from ‘marijuana’ to ‘cannabis’ affects public opinion on the drug or the policies governing it. Whether asked about legalization of the drug, the moral acceptability of its use, tolerance for activities involving the drug, the harmfulness of its use, or the traits of its users—and whether they are prompted to think about medical use or use more generally—respondents offered similar opinions whether we called the drug ‘marijuana’ or ‘cannabis.’

    By contrast, authors did report that the general public possesses more favorable opinions of the substance “when told it is for medical versus unspecified purposes.” That distinction is evident is national polls, which show greater public support for medicalization (93 percent: Quinnipiac, 2019) over adult-use legalization (66 percent: Gallup, 2019).

    Commenting on the study’s results, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: Changing the hearts and minds of the public with regard to marijuana has always been about substance, not terminology. Reformers are winning the legalization debate on the strength of our core arguments — namely, the fact that legalization and regulation is better for public health and safety than is criminalization — and not because of any particular change in the lexicon surrounding the cannabis plant.”

    Full text of the study, “Has the ‘M’ word been framed? Marijuana, cannabis, and public opinion,” is online here.

  • by NORML October 23, 2019

    A super-majority of Americans, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents support making marijuana use legal in the United States, according to nationwide polling data compiled by Gallup, first reported by Forbes.

    Sixty-six percent of respondents endorse legalization, a total that is consistent with other recent polls and that is nearly 30 percent higher than 2012 totals — when Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize adult marijuana use. A separate nationwide poll released yesterday by PPRI (the Public Religion Research Institute) similarly reported that two in three Americans support legalizing and regulating adults’ marijuana use.

    Commenting on the poll results, NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said: “There is no buyer’s remorse on the part of the American people. In recent years, American’s support for legalization has only grown stronger. At the end of the day, every age demographic below 65, representing the overwhelming majority of the taxpaying public, would rather their dollars be spent to regulate cannabis, not incarcerate its consumers.”

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