A Marijuana Revolution in the United States:
A marijuana revolution is currently happening in America as acceptance and support for marijuana use continues to build. 23 states currently allow medical marijuana use within their borders and the legalization for recreational marijuana use is slowly building as well. During a recent presidential debate, Bernie Sanders said that he would approve legal marijuana legislation and although Hillary Clinton was not as vocally direct with support for such legislation, she did admit that she does not support putting people in prison for marijuana and believes that states should be allowed to move forward with the process of legalization without federal interference. The fact that presidential candidates, and potentially the next president of the United States, are discussing marijuana legalization during their campaign time is very telling. A marijuana revolution is happening in the United States and political spin is becoming more evident every day.
Clinton’s response pertaining to legalized marijuana in the U.S. was not as open and telling as most would like for it to be. She did not voice her direct support for legalized marijuana, but instead, she was vague in her stance of not interfering with states that decide to move forward with legislation aimed at legalizing cannabis. Still, other politicians like Sanders, are giving direct support and ignoring the vague and ambiguous strategy. The fact that politicians are more willing to not only discuss the topic, but support a topic that can be polarizing and, lets say, less than campaign safe, is telling. It tells that politicians are seeing the revolution too. It shows that they are trying to respond to the majority opinion. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans favor legalized marijuana right now.
Why is American Opinion Pro-Marijuana:
Medical marijuana is one of the key variables turning public opinion right now. As with all medicine, evidence based data needs to be presented, but more and more advocates are discussing the benefits of medical marijuana for treating cancer, epilepsy, MS, Alzheimer’s and chronic pervasive pain. For now though, public opinion will contrast the viewpoint of the federal government. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance. Other substances classified in this manner are heroin, LSD, and Ecstacy. The marijuana revolution is happening on a state by state level, but the federal government has been reluctant to make any significant change to federal law. Maybe positive evidence stemming from medical marijuana use will prompt change on the federal level.