A Majority of Republicans Support Legalizing Weed

A Majority of Republicans Support Legalizing Weed

It’s fair to surmise that the west has come a long way in a very short period of time on cannabis rights. One might go so far as to say we have encountered a complete paradigm shift on the issue. The degree of this metamorphosis has become evident as recent statistics revealed that a majority of Republicans support legalizing weed.

A 2017 gallop poll stated that 51% of all Republicans supported the legalization of marijuana. By contrast, 72% of Democrats supported legal weed and 67% of Independents. The survey also stated that 64% of all Americans were in support of legal recreational cannabis, reflecting a significant majority of the country.

While this might not seem substantial, keep in mind this is the party of Reagan and just say no. The party of Jeff Sessions and mandatory minimum sentencing.

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Why Does It Even Matter That A Majority of Republicans Support Legalizing Weed?

Map of Us States to Legalize Cannabis
With the states shrugging off federal authority and legalizing weed on their own, it might seem unimportant that Republicans increasingly support legalization (image via Brookings Institution)

9 individual American states have already legalized recreational cannabis without the consent of the federal government. So why does it even matter whether or not Republicans are coming around on the issue?

Foremost, it is rare in the current times for the majority of Americans to coalesce around anything. Perhaps the legalization of cannabis could be such an issue. This could be the rallying cry we have been searching for to unite a deeply divided and fractious nation. As more and more states reap the financial benefits of legalization, undoubtedly an increasing amount of Republicans will become converts.

A security truck for weed
The cash economies that have sprung up in green states have become dangerous, inefficient and expensive (image via Trucks.com)

Another crucial point to remember is that marijuana is still federally illegal. While this may have little to no effect on the day to day of people living in green states, it does have consequences.

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The Consequences of A Majority of Republicans Support Legalizing Weed

National Parks for one fall under the jurisdiction of federal authority, therefore you can still be arrested for possession there. More significantly, cannabis companies in the United States are unable to store their revenue in banks as a result of federal money laundering laws.

Dealing with these vast sums of cash is incredibly dangerous and forces cannabis companies to spend an exorbitant amount of money on armed security to guard their revenues. Cash businesses such as the ones operating in Colorado are also denying valuable tax revenue to the federal government that might help repair America’s crumbling infrastructure.

A man demands your pee
Federal legalization of marijuana could mean an end to drug testing for cannabis… a practice which is uncomfortably prevalent in today’s day and age (image via high times)

Also essential is marijuana’s status as a schedule 1 drug. In this category, it enjoys such pleasant company as heroin and other drugs deemed extremely dangerous and not having any medical use. Getting the prejudicial treatment of cannabis revoked can have a diverse array of consequences… From a much-needed image makeover to more federal funding for research.

This last point is crucial as cannabis has been shown to have potentially game-changing effects for patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries, various forms of cancer, epilepsy,  severe menstrual cramps, as well as a host of others.

The Correlation Between Cannabis and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Cannabis has demonstrated many medical benefits including aiding patients with traumatic brain injury (Image via YouTube.com)

In addition to these, there are a host of organizations that still pursue archaic drug testing policies for their employees. These are not limited to sports organizations. The federal government is one of the largest employers to drug test, with over 400,000 drug tests conducted yearly. Reclassification of cannabis could push these private sector organizations… As well as the federal government into a much-needed update of their drug testing policy.

Conclusions on Why A Majority of Republicans Support Legalizing Weed

What Republicans think about cannabis matters. In order for the nation to see any substantial progress, both sides of the aisle must be on board. It is for this reason that it is a true cultural landmark that a majority of Republicans support legalizing weed. From the party of Reagan and Nixon, perhaps a shift has taken place… one that could forever change the future of drug policy.

By: Stefan Hosko
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