Support for marijuana legalization has changed dramatically over the last few years, with more and more states legalizing either medical or recreational marijuana. However, some states are more conservative than others; for instance, in Kentucky, cannabis is not legal either for medical or adult-use purposes.
However, a recent survey by Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) in 2019 showed that in the last decade, support for marijuana legalization has been rising within the state. And it was the first time more than half of the residents of Kentucky who were surveyed said that they were in favor of marijuana for any use. The majority of the survey participants said that they in favor of medical marijuana, while a little less than half said that they were in favor of recreational marijuana.
Chubinski said that from KHIP 2012 and KHIP 2019, there is a notable shift in public opinion about marijuana reform in Kentucky. But, it is essential to note that during that timeframe, the policy landscape about marijuana has shifted as well.
According to the survey, nine out of 10 people said they are in favor of medical marijuana consumption, which is an increase from eight out of 10 people in 2012. Support for medical marijuana has increased from 38 percent in 2012 to 59 percent in 2019, while support for adult-use marijuana increased to 49 percent in 2019 from 26 percent in 2012.
In a statement, the vice president of research and evaluation Jennifer Chubinski said that support for marijuana legalization for any use or adult-use purposes was more likely to attract support from the Democrats more than the Republicans or Independents.
The University of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research conducted the survey, and they used 1,559 adults residing in Kentucky. The poll which came shortly after the 2019 Health Policy Conference was sponsored by The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health. The focus of the conference was the impact that reforming marijuana laws has on the public.
Some of the topics that were raised during the conference that gathered prohibitionists and conservatives were the increased potency of marijuana plants. Other topics include how to measure the correct dosage, preventing young adults from using weed, impaired driving, and risks of accidental poisonings. The poll results showed that there was a decrease in marijuana consumption among teens from 29% in 1997 to 16% in 2019. According to the survey, forty percent of Kentuckian adults have a friend or family who consumes marijuana regularly.
Although Kentucky officials are concerned over the common issues raised during the conference, other states in the U.S. are legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana, and it is clear that residents of Kentucky are ready to legalize marijuana.
It would be interesting to hear what sector players like Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF) have to say about the chances of full marijuana legalization happening in Kentucky this year.
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