Cannabis legalization laws certainly aren’t perfect. There are a lot of improvements that need to be made at local, state, and federal levels to better help patients in need and small businesses. However, there are a lot of successes to be proud of as well, especially around criminal justice penalties and the fact that cannabis retail sales, illegal everywhere just a decade ago, have now been deemed essential during a global pandemic crisis.
There are fewer arrests, jobs are being created and revenue has been generated for important social services, yet Reefer Madness prohibitionists want to turn back the clock and scream about how the sky has fallen in legal cannabis states. Thankfully, we have the facts on our side, and the voters. As Marijuana Moment reported, YouGov polled over 32,000 voters in legal states and a whopping 69% of Oregonians believe that legalization has been a success:
They were given five options: “Success only, more of a success than a failure, more of a failure than a success, failure only or don’t know.”
Here’s a breakdown of percentages of people in legal states who said the policy has been a success compared to a failure:
Colorado (71-17 percent)
Oregon (69-20 percent)
Massachusetts (67-15 percent)
Washington (65-18 percent)
Nevada (64-17 percent)
California (59-20 percent)
Illinois (59-17 percent)
Michigan (56-20 percent)
Maine (47-20 percent)
% of Americans in states where recreational marijuana is legal who believe the legislation has been a success:
— YouGovUS (@YouGovUS) May 13, 2020
Too often, the cannabis community is still treated as second class citizens in many aspects of our lives, from child custody battles to employment rights. Entrepreneurs are still fighting for access to regular banking services (which could pass soon) and sensible taxation policies (further away, but needed ASAP). As we continue to mainstream cannabis legalization and advocate for equality, we should always note that the voters that know the best, those that live in legal cannabis states, understand that legalization is a much better policy than prohibition.