Medical Marijuana||Prohibition

Two Thirds of Americans Want Congress to Exempt States from Federal Marijuana Enforcement

A new study shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans want the federal government to stay out of state-level affairs associated with changes in marijuana law.

According to The Washington Post, that is one of the conclusions of a survey on legal marijuana recently commissioned by Third Way:

The survey found Americans split on the question of full legalization, with 50 percent supporting versus 47 percent opposed. However, the poll did find that six in ten respondents said that states, not the federal government, should decide whether to make marijuana legal. Moreover, 67 percent of Americans said Congress should go further and specifically carve out an exemption to federal marijuana laws for states that legalize, so long as they have a strong regulatory system in place.

How this would work for marijuana is detailed in an exhaustive forthcoming study in the UCLA Law Review. In short, Congress could allow states to opt out of the Controlled Substances Act provisions relating to marijuana, provided they comply with regulatory guidelines issued by the Department of Justice.

This is already the de-facto federal policy toward Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon, although it cannot become a formal policy without an act of Congress. Third Way heartily endorses this approach, as it represents a “third way” between the current policy of outright prohibition, and the full legalization route favored by marijuana reform activists.

It is time for Congress to get out of the way and let states determine what marijuana policies work best for them.

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Historic National Support for Marijuana!

A new Gallup poll released yesterday shows that a record-high of 50% of Americans believe the use of marijuana should be made legal. That’s up from 46% just one year ago.

This is the first time we've hit the 50% mark on this highly respected annual survey, so this is significant.

Even the folks at Gallup seem to have a sense something historic is happening. As they noted in the release accompanying the survey results, “If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes.”

On average, public support for making marijuana legal was increasing by 1.4% annually from 1995 to 2010. So the fact that there has been an increase of 4% in a single year not only shows that we’re making continued progress, but that we’re actually seeing an acceleration in progress.

As you know, MPP is spearheading a signature drive in Colorado for a ballot initiative that -- if passed in November 2012 -- would make the possession, use, and regulated production and distribution of marijuana legal for adults. This initiative is the best chance we’ve ever had to end marijuana prohibition in any state.

And today’s national Gallup poll shows that the Colorado polling is spot on. Specifically, recent Colorado polling has shown that at least 51% of Colorado voters support ending marijuana prohibition, which makes sense given that Colorado voters are more supportive than voters nationwide.

We need your help to turn these poll numbers into election results. Each signature needed to get the initiative on the ballot in Colorado costs $1 to collect. Would you please sponsor 10, 50, 100, or even 1,000s of signatures so that the campaign can wrap up the signature drive and start educating voters about the initiative?

Thank you.


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