In America’s heated political climate, the differences between the two political parties are more pronounced than ever. One issue that has traditionally been divisive between Democrats and Republicans is cannabis. Democrats have supported cannabis legalization in larger numbers than Republicans for the most part since it became mainstream. However, even in such divisive times, the parties are beginning to come together to in support of cannabis legalization.
Taking an Edible to Change Minds
One representative attempting to bridge the gap is Utah Democratic State Senator Jim Dabakis. Dabakis was recently driven to Nevada (where recreational cannabis use is legal) to attempt to prove a point to Utah voters ahead of the state’s vote on cannabis legalization (Utah will vote on whether or not to legalize cannabis for medicinal use in November). In Nevada, Dabakis purchased and consumed, on video, a cannabis infused gummy bear. His goal was to show voters that cannabis is not a danger to Utah and that in fact legalization can benefit citizens of his state.
A few days after his edible excursion, Dabakis posted a follow up video where he said, “I made it back to Salt Lake, and I’m healthy. I wouldn’t suggest shooting up (questionable language to say the least) marijuana to anybody, but I’ll tell you, I think it’s a lot of ho-hum. I think the reefer madness crowd—you guys, you need to try it. It’s not that big a deal.”
The last sentence of his statement, “it’s not that big a deal” couldn’t be emphasized more. It is an important statement that those who oppose cannabis legalization should pay closer attention to.
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Democrats Are No Longer Alone
According to a recently released Gallup poll, 75% of Democrats support the legalization of cannabis. The high number of Democrats who are in favor of cannabis legalization isn’t surprising. However, what is surprising is the continual increase in Republican cannabis support. The Gallup poll found that Republican support for legalization rose from 51% in 2017 to 53% in 2018. While it is only a small rise, it is a continuation of a trend of increases over the last few years.
Utah will be one of the many states to watch during the 2018 midterm elections. If cannabis is legalized, the state will join an increasing percentage of the United States that has realized the beneficial nature of cannabis and allowed their citizens the choice to use it.