Candidates face tough choices in the 2014 elections as the American public embraces freedom over draconian drug policies. A new CNN/ORC poll released in the evening of Monday, January 6, 2014 found a majority of Americans feel marijuana should be legal to buy and sell across the nation. The poll also showed Americans feel marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.
Last year 82% of Floridians polled supporting the legalization of marijuana in the state. "If the folks who want to legalize medical marijuana in Florida can get their proposal on the ballot, they are overwhelmingly favored to prevail next November," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Even amongst Florida Republican voters well over 50% support its legalization.
With so many voters in favor of its legalization, it is a true wonder why politicians are so frightful to come out publicly in support of legalization. From city council to President Obama the mantra seems to continue what hasn't worked and how politicians need to be strong against drugs. The Florida legislature could virtually guarantee their reelection on this one issue due to its huge support, however they are unlikely to pass anything meaningful in the 2014 legislative session which begins in March.
It would seem the only political parties in tune with the majority of Americans is the Libertarian Party and the Green Party. Libertarians do not condone or condemn marijuana use however are strong to support one's right for its use. The Democratic and Republican parties and their elected candidates do not support one's personal right of freedom to ingest marijuana as they have both supported the failed War on Drugs repeatedly for decades.
On January 1, 2014 Colorado businesses have now been allowed to sell marijuana for recreational and medical purposes however the plant remains illegal on the federal level. The federal government has kept marijuana/cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug which means they claim it has no medicinal value. This is an outright lie as the U.S. Government has held a patent for its medical benefits for over tens years.
It will interesting to see how 2014 elections move forward and how previous anti-marijuana legalization politicians such as Charlie Crist are able to compete with candidates such as Adrian Wyllie in their run to be Florida's next governor. Crist was strongly against medical usage of cannabis and now apparently, since the polls have turned, has changed his mind on yet another policy. According to VoteSmart.org as early as 2012 Charlie Crist favored increased penalties for selling illegal drugs and opposed the decriminalization of the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.