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According to a recent Associated Press (AP) and NORC (National Opinion Research Center) University of Chicago poll, a supermajority of Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis for the United States. The poll discovered that cannabis legalization, however, means different things to different people – some believe in unrestricted legalization, some in restrictions on purchase amounts, and some are only in favor when a doctor prescribes cannabis to a patient. Although only 25 states have legal medical cannabis, 4 have legal recreational cannabis, and nearly 16 have legalization legislation pending at the present time, the legislation is likely to push legalization to over 50% of states in November at the latest.

What Did the Poll Find Out About Cannabis?

The poll found that, of 1,042 adults on AmeriSpeak, 61% support cannabis legalization in some form. The study also found that 62% say there America has a serious problem with substance abuse in the form of painkillers and heroin. Two-thirds of those polled believe that some restrictions should be placed on the purchase and consumption of cannabis – with 43% in favor of purchase amount restrictions and 24% in favor of legalization only with a medical prescription. Across the political parties, 70% of Democrats favored legalization, 65% of Independents, and only 47% of Republicans. For contrast, a mere 7% of Americans believe all drugs should be legal, while the other 93% disagree.

Drug Conviction Imbalance

In support of the nationwide conversation on unfair racial profiling in the police and judicial systems, the poll found that 66% of Americans say “it is extremely or very likely that a black substance user would be convicted of drug possession,” while the percentage is only 55% for Hispanic users and 30% for white users. There is a similar split among city drug user conviction (53%) and rural drug use convictions (29%), and also between poor people (63%), middleclass people (29%), and rich people (23%) who are convicted of drug use charges in the United States judicial system.

Cannabis Approval Ratings & Medicinal Uses Are Growing in the U.S.

Overall, cannabis use has become much more acceptable by today’s standards than it was 50 years ago. As medical research is permitted more and more by the United States federal government, and state governments continue to ease restrictions and encourage medical and recreational cannabis consumption across the board, cannabis is shaking itself free of its dark shroud of secrecy and emerging into the light of increased knowledge and acceptance. There is no doubt that cannabis legalization will reach the level of supermarjority before 2018, and after that, the sky is the limit.

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