Majority Of Americans Supporting Legalization of Marijuana
Today, 20 states and District of Columbia have laws in place that legalize marijuana for medical use. Only 2 states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Although possessing and using recreational marijuana has been legal in 2013 in these 2 states, January 2014 marks a new beginning, where the drug can be sold commercially to customers without medical need for it. In addition to concerns about increase in use for teens and spread of use trickling out of Colorado state, the major concern is shortage of marijuana supply. The lines are long, and with only about 20 stores operating around the state, supply can quickly run out in 1st few months of the year. Tim Cullen, co-owner of the store Evergreen Apothecary in Denver CO, points out that since January 1st, 2014, customer visits increased 4 times.
He further says that he added 5 more employees and incorporated a policy, limiting customers to buying a quarter of an ounce for time being.
“We will not be able to do this forever,” he adds. “I’m hoping more stores open up here soon, which I’d never imagine I’d say. We need more stores to open up to even this out a little bit.” Source
January Jan 6th CNN poll shows significant differences in the way American people view legalization of marijuana. According the poll, the support went up from 16% in 1987 to 55% in 2014.
CNN poll further indicates that people who had negative views about the use of marijuana changed their views. The number who said marijuana is a gateway drug (47%), is down 23 points since 1972. The number who said marijuana is addictive (50%), is down 10 points. And the number who said marijuana is physically harmful (43%) is down 23 points.
“The biggest change indicated by the poll reflected the number of people who said smoking pot is morally wrong. In 1987, 70% said it was, making it a sin in the minds of more Americans than abortion or pornography. “
In 2014, people who thought the drug to be morally wrong decreased to 35%.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, from January 3-5, with 1,010 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Source
Medical Use of Marijuana in Florida
Despite the fact that 20 states and the District of Columbia allow for the medical use of marijuana, and over a third of the county now live in jurisdictions with these compassionate laws, the Florida Legislature has refused to even discuss the matter. Polling of the electorate proves just how out of touch Florida politicians are on the issue.
Despite the fact that a medical necessity defense has been established by Florida case law, patients remain at risk of being arrested and jailed because legislators have yet to enact a medical marijuana law.
Although Florida courts, public opinion, and 20 other states (and D.C.) reflect a trend that recognizes the legitimate use of medical marijuana, Florida patients remain exposed to the state’s harsh possession laws. Every single medical marijuana patient in Florida continues to live in fear because Florida’s penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana are among the nation’s toughest.
Though the debate over the legalization of marijuana continues nationwide, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug in Florida under Fla. Stat. § 893.03. This classification of marijuana means that possession and any other act involving the use or sale of marijuana is illegal.
West Palm Beach Marijuana Defense Attorney
While 20 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, and 14 states have legalized cannabis for recreational use, the controversial drug has remained an illicit and controlled substance in Florida. It is also the number one drug leading to arrests throughout Florida, including in Palm Beach County.
A conviction for a marijuana offense in Palm Beach County can have a lasting impact on your future.
An experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney can fight to protect your rights and work for a favorable outcome in your Palm Beach County marijuana case. When considering a skilled and knowledgeable marijuana defense lawyer as part of your strategy, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.
To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your West Palm Beach area marijuana case, call 561.880.4300today and schedule your free initial case consultation.