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National pot poll: wide support on legalization, but with caveats

Like a large number of people in other states, many Arkansas residents closely follow marijuana-related stories and trends from across the country. We suspect that our readers who are attuned to material developments in marijuana legislation and related topics might be interested in the findings of a national poll that was recently released.

The poll was conducted by CNN and a research group called ORC International. Earlier this month, pollsters spoke with more than 1,000 adults from across the United States. Following are a few of the survey's key findings:

  • Morally, pot usage is no longer much of any issue -- if any -- for most polled respondents
  • Far more Americans support marijuana legalization than in prior years
  • The views of many respondents from age 18 to 50 concerning legalization are closely aligned
  • Myriad demographic factors still play into polling viewpoints

Foremost to note, perhaps, is that polling results show a steady upward tick in the country’s liberalized attitudes toward pot as a whole over the past 25-plus years. Over that time span, a CNN article notes, support for marijuana legalization “has steadily soared.” The recent poll indicates that about 55 percent of all Americans now favor legalization.

As to those cited demographics, they go far toward explaining the different marijuana laws operative in states across the country. Although twenty states currently provide for legal medical marijuana, for example, Arkansas is not one of them. As a general matter, notes a polling official, older people who identify themselves as Republican and live in the South more readily ascribe to conservative views regarding pot decriminalization or legalization.

Marijuana possession and the possession of pot with the intent to sell or distribute continues to be a crime in Arkansas, and conviction on pot-related charges can bring serious criminal penalties.

A knowledgeable and client-empathetic Little Rock drug crimes attorney can provide rigorous representation to any person facing drug charges, ensuring that his or her legal rights are fully protected and that all avenues of mitigation are fully explored.

Source: CNN, "CNN poll: Support for legal marijuana soaring," CNN Political Unit, Jan. 6, 2014

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