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CBS News Poll: 53% of Americans Support Legalizing Recreational Cannabis, 84% Support Medical Legalization

a week after a Pew Research Center poll found that 53% of Americans support legalizing recreational cannabis, a new CBS News poll has came to the same conclusion.

53% of respondents in the survey answered “Yes” to the question “Should marijuana use be legal?” 43% stated that they believe cannabis use should not be legal.

These numbers mark the highest level of support ever recorded by a CBS News poll for legalizing cannabis, which began asking the question over 35 years ago in 1979.

The poll also asked participants if they believe cannabis is less harmful than alcohol. 51% agreed that it is less harmful, 28% said that the two substances are equally harmful, and just 12% said they believe cannabis is more harmful than alcohol.

The survey found overwhelming support for legalizing medical cannabis, with 84% in favor

The full poll results can be found by clicking here


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Federal Respect State Cannabis Laws Act Filed in U.S. Congress

group of lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would prohibit the government from prosecuting individuals or businesses for cannabis-related crimes if they’re in compliance with their state’s cannabis laws.

The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015 (House Resolution 1940) was introduced Wednesday with Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) as the primary sponsor. Five other Republicans, and six Democrats, have signed on as cosponsors of the bill.

“The American people, through the 35 states that have liberalized laws banning either medical marijuana, marijuana in general, or cannabinoid oils, have made it clear that federal enforcers should stay out of their personal lives,” says Representative Rohrabacher. “It’s time for restraint of the federal government’s over-aggressive weed warriors.”

House Resolution 1940 would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to make a specific exception to federal law for states that have legalized the substance.

According to polling released last week by the Pew Research Center, 53% of Americans support legalizing cannabis.


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Confirmed: DEA Head Michele Leonhart Stepping Down

By Paul Armentano, NORML

Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart is stepping down, US Attorney General Eric Holder has

Members of the US House Oversight Committee gave Leonhart a vote of “no confidence” last week after an Office of the Inspector General report revealed that senior DEA officials had participated in sex parties arranged by Colombian drug cartels and had also received weapons and cash from cartel members. None of the agents involved were fired by director Leonhart.

Michele Leonhart began serving as the agency’s acting director in November 2007 before being confirmed as DEA administrator in 2010.

Leonhart had consistently taken a hardline stance against any change in marijuana policy. Early in her tenure she oversaw dozens of federal raids on medical marijuana providers and producers in states that had legalized the plant. She set aside a verdict from the agency’s own administrative law judge that sought to expand and facilitate clinical research into marijuana as a medicine and she rejected an administrative petition calling for marijuana rescheduling hearings. She openly criticized remarks made by the President acknowledging cannabis’ relative safety compared to alcohol, and criticized the administration’s efforts to allow states to implement limited regulatory schemes for the retail production and sale of cannabis to adults. In public testimony, Leonhart refused to acknowledge whether she believed that crack cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin posed greater risks to health than marijuana — instead opining, “All illegal drugs are bad.”

Ms. Leonhart also actively opposed hemp law reform during her time as DEA director. She criticized a decision to fly a hempen flag over the Capitol, saying it was “her lowest point in 33 years in the DEA.” Last year, her agency unlawfully seized 250 pounds of legal hemp seeds destined for Kentucky’s state Agricultural Department.

Always a true believer in the drug war no matter what the costs, in 2009 she described increased southern border violence as a sign of the “success” of her agency’s anti-drug strategies.

Michele Leonhart is expected to leave the agency in mid-May.

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