• New Polls Could Mean Biggest Win For Legal Weed Yet

    New polls from two presidential primary states indicate that the vast majority of voters believe that the federal government should not interfere with state marijuana laws.

    According to the polls conducted by Public Policy Polling of 1,500 registered voters in Iowa and 841 in New Hampshire, there’s almost no question about where voters stand on the relationship between the federal government and the states—at least as far as marijuana legalization is concerned.

    A total of 71 percent of Iowa voters think that “states should be able to carry out their own marijuana laws without federal interference.” In New Hampshire, that number increases slightly to 73 percent.

    Support for states’ rights holds across both political parties. In Iowa, 80 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans think that the next president should let states legalize the drug without having to fear federal prosecution. In New Hampshire, 77 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans think the same.

    But not all GOP presidential candidates seem thrilled about states deciding to experiment with the drug. Ben Carson, for example, said that not only is legalization totally out of the question, but that the federal government should not let states decide their own policies because of the negative impacts the drug has on users’ intelligence.

    “Regular exposure to marijuana in the developing brain has been demonstrated definitively to result in decreased IQ. And the last thing we need is a bunch of people running around with decreased IQ,” he said at a press conference in Denver. “There are ways that you can create pills and ointments and things like that that are used for medicinal purposes while still enforcing federal law … [Yes I would enforce the federal drug laws in states such as Colorado] providing the use, the appropriate use of medical marijuana.”

    Chris Christie and Marco Rubio have both stated serious opposition to states experimenting with the legalization of cannabis.

    “Marijuana is illegal under federal law,” Florida Republican Rubio told Politics Confidential. “That should be enforced. I understand that states have decided to legalize possession under state law, and the trafficking, the sale of these products. I mean, that’s a federal crime.”

    Only 13 percent and 15 percent of Iowa and New Hampshire voters, respectively, believe that “the federal government should arrest and prosecute people who are following state marijuana laws.”

    “Politicians running to become our next president should take note of just how uniformly voters in these key states want to end federal marijuana prohibition,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, which commissioned the poll. “Candidates who say they would send in the DEA to shut down legal, taxpaying marijuana businesses are effectively announcing that they’re out of the mainstream and out of touch with the voters they need support from in order to get elected. That type of rhetoric is just not going to score any points in 2016.”

    The Iowa poll was conducted from August 7-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Public Policy Polling conducted the second survey of New Hampshire from August 21-24 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter


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