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420 with CNW — Survey Explores Views of Americans on Cannabis Legalization

As the United States moves closer to rescheduling and legalizing cannabis, critical questions emerge about who should benefit from these changes and who is best suited to craft equitable cannabis policies. Big businesses frequently have a big say in what laws are passed, and the cannabis industry seems to be no exception. But who, in the opinion of Americans, ought to have more influence over cannabis laws?

A recent survey by the Parabola Center, a nonpartisan think tank made up of experts in drug policy and law who advocate for marijuana legalization with a special emphasis on small enterprises and individuals, provides insight into public opinion. When respondents were asked who they trusted to develop effective marijuana policies, they provided the following responses:

  • 67%: individuals with firsthand experience
  • 56%: cannabis users
  • 55%: social-equity advocates
  • 24%: representatives from pharmaceutical companies
  • 22%: federal government
  • 18%: executives from the tobacco industry
  • 13%: executives from the alcohol industry

It makes sense that people have little faith in executives in the alcohol and tobacco industries, given the harmful effects of their products. Furthermore, as their regular customer base shrinks, a few of these businesses are keen to join the cannabis space.

When asked about their top concerns regarding marijuana policy, respondents said the following:

  • 68%: promoting social equity
  • 68%: ending cannabis-related arrests
  • 65%: ensuring access to marijuana
  • 49%: fostering a sharing society
  • 42%: preserving cannabis culture
  • 27%: keeping cannabis illegal

The war on drugs, including marijuana prohibition, disproportionately harmed certain communities. Many believe that fair policies could help address some of the injustices caused by past enforcement. In fact, according to 61% of respondents, legalization should help individuals who have been negatively impacted by current prohibitions.

President Joseph Biden has also acknowledged the negative impacts caused by outdated cannabis policies. He stated in 2022 while announcing a review of how marijuana is classified, that many lives have been upended because of failed cannabis policy approaches, and it was time to make the mistakes right.

When asked who should benefit from cannabis legalization, respondents identified the following top three groups:

  • 85%: people using marijuana for medicinal purposes
  • 73%: workers in the marijuana industry
  • 63%: recreational users

Conversely, the least-favored groups included alcohol companies, the tobacco industry, large corporations and pharmaceutical companies.

The survey, conducted in September 2023, involved 404 U.S. adults. Although not extensive, it may be one of the first surveys to explore this particular angle of marijuana policy and legalization.

Entities such as Canopy Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: CGC) (TSX: WEED) will be pleased to see that the general public sentiment is in favor of ending cannabis prohibition at the federal level and allowing experienced industry professionals to be in charge of policy making and implementation.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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