Has The 'Smoke' Shifted For Marijuana Conservatives?
Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a straw poll surprisingly indicated that the Republican party’s conservative wing is in favor of some form of marijuana legalization.
This is a positive sign for marijuana stock traders, as the conservative movement has historically been the primary opposition of marijuana legalization/decriminalization.
The straw poll, which was open to all registered CPAC attendees, showed that 62 percent of the surveyed group agreed that marijuana should be legalized to some extent.
Though a majority of CPAC participants were in the age group of 18-25, after further examination, every age demographic had a majority in favor of legalization, except for participants 65 or older (watch the results announcement here). Industry leading analyst and 420 Investor Alan Brochstein weighed in on what this survey means, saying that while the results of the CPAC poll are somewhat marginal, he views staunch conservatives “waking up to the medical side” of marijuana as very positive.
A lot of skepticism from conservatives will be put to rest if the implementation of new marijuana policies in Colorado and Washington go smoothly. When asked about the future of marijuana use, former Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) told Reason TV at CPAC that "[he’d] like to see how the situation out in Colorado [regarding pot legalization] works out.” So far, it is working out quite well.
According to the figures reported for the first month of 2014, recreational marijuana has proved to be a “high” point for the state. In addition to the money saved from future prison reforms, recreational marijuana in Colorado brought in $2 million in new tax revenue from over $14.2 million in marijuana sales (Forbes). Combined with medicinal marijuana, Colorado accrued nearly $3.5 million in new taxes.
As shown in the graphic below, 21 percent believe that medicinal marijuana should be legal when prescribed by a doctor, while an additional 41 percent believe that marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use.
The results of another public opinion poll were released recently by the Wall Street Journal and NBC, and showed that public opinion on marijuana continues to improve. The question asked participants to rank four substances based how harmful they are, and marijuana’s ranking was somewhat surprising.
The results of the poll revealed that Americans see marijuana as the least harmful substance when compared to alcohol, sugar and tobacco. Only eight of survey participants choose marijuana as the most dangerous substance, while sugar received 15 percent, alcohol 24 percent, with tobacco taking an overwhelming plurality of 49 percent.
As public and political resistance to legalized forms of marijuana wanes, traders will hopefully continue riding the bull to "high" profits!
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