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63% of Americans Think Feds Should Respect State Marijuana Laws

Posted on | December 13, 2012 | No Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A USA Today/Gallup poll released last week shows that 63% of Americans believe the federal government should not interfere in the implementation of state ballot measures such as those approved in Washington and Colorado last month that make marijuana legal for adults. The poll of 1,015 Americans was conducted Nov. 26-29 and has a margin of error of +/- 4%.

Marijuana officially became legal under state law last Thursday in Washington, and in Colorado on Monday. The laws make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. They also direct the legislatures of both states to create regulations in order to establish a legal market for businesses to cultivate and sell marijuana to adults. So far, the federal government has not stated whether it intends to use any resources to interfere with the implementation of the new state laws.

According to a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling released earlier this week, just 33% of respondents said they would approve of President Obama using federal resources to prevent the new state laws from going into effect. It also found that 50% of Americans think marijuana will become legal under federal law within the next 10 years.

“These polls are making it quite clear that most Americans do not want the federal government to stand in the way after a state’s voters have approved a ballot measure to make marijuana legal for adults,” said Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The initiatives in Colorado and Washington received strong majority support because the voters believe regulating marijuana like alcohol would make their communities safer than the current system of prohibition.

“It’s not just the people of Colorado and Washington who want to see these ballot measures implemented in accordance with the will of the voters,” Fox continued. “It’s nearly two-thirds of all Americans. The Obama administration should not undermine their sensible action by ensuring marijuana sales remain underground where the profits prop up cartels and gangs instead of legitimate businesses.”

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