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Americans Overwhelmingly Want Feds to Let States Move Forward With Marijuana Legalization


While the Obama administration is deliberating how to handle the newly approved marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington State, one thing they will likely pay attention to is popular opinion. Regular Americans overwhelmingly see marijuana legalization as a states’ rights issue and do not want the federal government to interfere with the will of the electorate in either state.

A new Reason-Rupe Public Opinion poll found a majority of Americans do not want federal resources used to inhibit any aspects of the new legal marijuana system in these two states. The poll found 72 percent don’t want the federal government to arrest people for using marijuana in these states, while only 24 percent want federal law enforcement deployment.

Similarly, the poll found 68 percent don’t want the feds arresting people for growing marijuana and 64 percent don’t even want the feds to arrest people for selling marijuana. As long as individual are following state law they should be left alone.

Interestingly, the survey found that 47 percent support legalizing marijuana for recreational issue while 49 percent oppose it. While the country is still divided on the merits of legalization, even many of the people who don’t think legalization is a good idea would still oppose having the federal government interfere. As far as most Americans are concerned, the voters in both states have spoken and the federal government should respect that.

Photo by lookcatalog under Creative Commons license

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at