WASHINGTON — Congress continues to move toward support for the protection of legal marijuana states, and more Americans agree with that stance.
In a recent poll that has been conducted at Quinnipiac University, the results revealed that up to 74% of Americans believe that states with legal marijuana should be protected from prosecution. Only 20% of the respondents expressed their opposition and 6% had no response.
The same survey also revealed that a higher number of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana. Nonetheless, the majority were not sure whether legalization is good for the state of not. With the increasing number of supporters of weed legalization, it is also expected that there will be an increase in demand for marijuana growing equipment, including air filtration systems designed to generate better air quality.
From the political fence, it was Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado who sponsored a bipartisan bill seeking to remove federal interference in the states where marijuana is legal. The proposed legislation is known as the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act.
One of the highlights of the federal bill is to make sure that each state operates in a manner that is autonomous, having the right to determine the best approach in managing marijuana within its borders. This is amidst the growing force behind the opposition of marijuana in the White House.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is one of the strongest critics of marijuana legalization. In January, he rescinded a memo that has been around since the time of Obama, instructing federal law agencies to not target the operation of marijuana businesses, as long as it is in a state where cannabis is legal.
For Donald Trump, on the other hand, it is a different story. Unlike Sessions, Trump expressed his intention to support the said bill. “I will probably end up supporting that,” the POTUS quipped when he was asked about the said bill. He further expressed that he is supporting Senator Gardner. Even during the 2016 campaign, Trump has always been vocal when it comes to how he would want to give the states the inherent right to regulate marijuana.
Aside from the bill that shields marijuana states from federal interference, there are other legislations that will take the spotlight this year. One of the most notable is the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act. The main goal of this legislation is to give the states the power when it comes to imposing penalties related to ownership or operation of marijuana-related businesses. To add, there is also The Marijuana Justice Act, which seeks to provide protection to citizens from being arrested for small amounts of marijuana caught in their possession. This is also expected to address issues of discrimination as most of those who are jailed for this petty crime are from the minority.
Without a doubt, support for legal marijuana in the U.S. is growing, as shown in the said poll.