Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jul 2019
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Paul Armentano


Alex Berenson's allegation that public support for marijuana law
reform is waning ("Marijuana Activists Pass Their High Point," op-ed,
June 26) is nothing short of a pipe dream.

Nearly one in four Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult
use of cannabis is legal, and 33 states regulate medical marijuana
access by statute. No state has ever repealed a marijuana legalization
law, and two-thirds of adults-including majorities of self-identified
Democrats, Republicans and independents-endorse making the plant
legal, according to the latest Gallup poll. As more states amend their
cannabis laws, public support for legalization continues to rise.

Moreover, 2019 has been an unprecedented year for the passage of
state-level reforms. Illinois lawmakers voted to legalize adult-use
cannabis sales, while legislators in three states-Hawaii, New Mexico
and North Dakota-moved to decriminalize it. New York expanded its
existing decriminalization laws, and nearly a dozen states including
Illinois, Oregon, Nevada and Washington passed legislation to expunge
past marijuana convictions. Legislators in several states including
Connecticut, Georgia, Texas and West Virginia enacted laws this year
expanding medical-cannabis access, while Alaska, Colorado and
Massachusetts voted to permit business to allow on-site marijuana
consumption. In Nevada and New York City, employers may no longer
sanction workers for their off-the-job use of cannabis.

At the federal level, members of the House of Representatives for the
first time overwhelmingly voted in favor of legislation halting
federal interference in state-specific marijuana laws. This historic
vote is further evidence that politicians at the highest level now
recognize the rapidly changing cultural and legal status of cannabis,
even if those like Mr. Berenson do not.

Paul Armentano

Deputy Director, National Organization For Reform Of Marijuana Laws

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