More Than Two Thirds of Republicans Support State Medical Marijuana Laws
May 15, 2012
H. Scott English, The InquisitrA new Mason-Dixon survey of 1,000 likely voters has some surprising number. Nearly three-quarters of Americans and more than two-thirds of Republicans believe federal officials should respect state laws on medical marijuana.
Steve Fox, director of government relations for The Marijuana Policy Project, told the Huffington Post,
“What the results of this survey show is that there is absolutely no political justification for what President [Barack] Obama is doing with respect to medical marijuana laws. Across the board … there is extremely strong support for respecting state medical marijuana laws.”
Medical Marijuana is currently legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Federal law currently does not recognize its legality in any State, even those that have passed legalization laws for medical use. Federal agencies have ramped up enforcement actions against dispensaries of medical marijuana but growing evidence shows they pay for it in November when the nation votes.
The survey asked voters if President Obama should leave medical marijuana alone, or use federal agencies to go after offenders. The data says, 74 percent of voters nationally said the president should respect state laws, 15 percent said he should prosecute in accordance with federal law and 11 percent weren’t sure.
Fox noted, the survey question specifically mentions that some states allow for the regulated cultivation and sale of medical marijuana and the more sympathetic term, “patient,” was never even used.
Non-intervention polled well across parties and demographics, with 75 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independents signaling their support for a hands-off federal approach to state medical marijuana laws. It also was also broadly supported across racial groups, with 73 percent of whites, 73 percent of Hispanics and 81 percent of blacks in favor of non-intervention. The only caveat to the numbers is that 71 percent of respondents were white so the numbers for minorities may be off.
The poll comes as President Obama’s government has launched unprecedented raids on pot dispensaries, mostly in California. According to data compiled by Americans for Safe Access. a pro marijuana advocacy organization, since October 2009, the Justice Department has conducted more than 170 aggressive SWAT-style raids in nine states that allow medical marijuana, resulting in at least 61 federal indictments.