Marijuana is no longer regarded as a “gateway” that will lead to the use of addictive drugs that result in about 115 deaths by overdose every day throughout America.
This is just one of several salient game-changing pro-cannabis opinions voiced in a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University of 1,076 New York State voters between the ages of 18 and 65-plus.
But another salient fact to emerge from the opinion poll is that most of the Republicans interviewed remain opposed to the legalization of weed, adding clout to the federal government’s hard-nosed stance on marijuana which they continue to regard as a drug in the same category as heroin and LSD.
With weed for adult consumption now legal in nine American states and the groundswell of public support that is changing the age-old held bias held against marijuana, more and more investors are pumping cash into pot stocks that have sky-rocketed in recent months.
Now let’s take a closer look at emerging trends uncovered in the opinion poll.
- Drug addiction is not linked to weed
Quinnipiac University Poll’s assistant director, Peter A. Brown, says the majority of voters do not regard cannabis as a “gateway” to strong drugs. He describes the 63 percent pro-legalization of recreational marijuana as a “high watermark in New York.” Another salient factor to emerge is that those voters were also in favor of legalization because taxes on weed sales would assist the state to improve overall living conditions for its residents. To date, the majority of New Yorkers polled felt the government had been ineffective in its efforts to improve the local economy.
- Pot stocks are rocketing
With the decriminalization of marijuana growing momentum throughout the country, pot stocks have sky-rocketed. In fact, some marijuana stocks have grown by more than 1,000% since the beginning of 2016 bringing with it a tidal wave of new investors. Last year a research company revealed that the sale of pot had ballooned to $9.7 billion, representing a 33% growth rate. Experts are now predicting that sales will grow by an average of 28% annually between now and 2021.
- The young are overwhelmingly in favor of legalization
A whopping 82% of New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 34 voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. Analysts agree that it is the youth of today that hold the key to success for the weed industry as previously biased public opinion undergoes rapid change.
- Public support generally on the increase
Quinnipiac’s poll uncovers an upward trend in support of legalizing marijuana with 63% giving the initiative the green light. The pro-cannabis movement has increased by two percent in less than 12 months and could be the catalyst for change in those states where marijuana is still illegal.
- Cannabis for medical use has huge support
An overwhelming 93% of the respondents polled are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use. This trend goes hand-in-glove with clinical and scientific research which has proved that cannabis has many wonderful and safe properties to treat dread diseases and debilitating disorders such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and rare forms of epilepsy.
- Americans disapprove of federal government’s interference
There is a ground swell of opposition to the federal government’s stance on marijuana. One of the most telling results of the opinion poll was that 70% of the respondents felt individual states should have the right to legalize and regulate pot industry activities within their borders without fear of interference by the federal government.
- The majority say YES to pot
Another positive pro-cannabis aspect uncovered by the opinion poll is that the majority of respondents feel that legalizing marijuana will be beneficial to the residents. While only 48% agreed with that statement, 26% had no opinion or comment on the matter. This figure is perhaps an illustration of the number of people who are not interested in or understand how taxation on the sale of marijuana will inject huge amounts of cash into state coffers that will, in turn, be used to improve the lives of residents. The fact that the majority of respondents are in favor of legalization bodes well for the pot industry.
On the downside
Negatives to emerge from the Quinnipiac University Poll include the fact that the majority of Republicans remain conservative in their outlook on marijuana. Of the Trump-administration supporters interviewed, 55% opposed the legalization of weed, illustrating the growing gap in public opinion between Republicans and their Democrat and independent counterparts.
The anti-weed brigade that is represented by Americans aged 65 years and older remains steadfast in their view that marijuana should remain illegal. The poll revealed that 52% of respondents voted against decriminalization. However, that percentage does not represent an overwhelming majority and perhaps with time their opinions will also undergo a less conservative change.
Whether politically more radical or more conservative, one thing is for sure, Americans are undergoing a mindset change when it comes down to legalizing marijuana. The majority concedes that taxation on the sales of cannabis will give the states in which they live a much-needed cash injection that in turn will be used to improve the living conditions of all residents. The majority concedes that federal government intervention is hampering decriminalization in several states where local government is fearful of stepping on federal toes. The majority concedes that marijuana has and is making undeniable inroads into improving the health of people suffering from dread diseases and chronic disorders. The majority concedes that marijuana is not a “gateway” inviting users to progress to stronger and addictive drugs. And, finally, it appears that the success of tomorrow’s pot industry relies heavily on the youth of today who do not perceive marijuana to be a dangerous or addictive form of recreation.