The remaining eight presidential candidates (two Democrats and six Republicans) have a slew of hot-button issues that they’re itching to tackle. Social Security, healthcare reform, and national security are all toward the top of the list. However, if the candidates were to listen to the American public, they’d be tackling the marijuana debate head on.
Marijuana’s unstoppable momentum
Since California first legalized medical marijuana in 1996, 22 additional states, along with Washington, D.C., have followed suit. In addition to patients having access to new pathways of treatments for a variety of diseases (including glaucoma and certain terminal cancers in most states) residents in four states — Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska — have OK’d the use of recreational marijuana.
The numbers, both sales and polls, show that Americans are very much excited about the potential expansion of marijuana. Gallup’s latest marijuana poll released in October showed that a whopping 58% of respondents would like to see marijuana legalized. This tied the highest percentage on record for a Gallup poll on marijuana’s favorability, and it’s up substantially from the 25% favorability registered just two decades ago. Favorability toward medical marijuana is even more robust, with 84% of respondents from a CBS News poll in 2015 expressing that they’d like to see the substance approved for medical use.
State regulators are also thrilled with the early results — and it’s causing non-legal states to take a second look. Colorado wound up reporting nearly $1 billion in sales in…