America has spoken, and contrary to what some might believe, most aren’t all that interested in seeing the minimum wage increase to $15 per hour. Instead, they think the federal government should prioritize the nationwide legalization of marijuana and allow pot products to be taxed and regulated like alcohol. Although this focus might sound strange, a new survey from the folks at Emerson College Polling shows a majority of the population sees the economic value in legal weed.
According to the poll, 61% of the population believes the United States should legalize the leaf for recreational use. This concept is similar to what has been done in several states, whereby adults 21 and older can purchase cannabis just like they do with beer. Still, nearly 40% of the respondents agreed that legalization isn’t the way to go. Many believe that Uncle Sam should rejoin the Paris accord, give undocumented immigrants more straightforward access to citizenship and move ahead with the $15 minimum wage. But they don’t see the big picture.
The fact that marijuana was among the highest-ranking issues for most Americans speaks volumes about how the nation perceives legalization. Presumably, respondents who think ending marijuana prohibition should be the government’s priority understand that it is a mega-job creator — especially for the dying middle class — that can induce a tidal wave of economic reverberations that benefit a lot more than just the cannabis trade. Many folks see legalization as one way toward the economic recovery needed due to the coronavirus.
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After all, raising the minimum wage to $15 won’t help as many Americans if the job market struggles and unemployment remains high. Most taxpayers grasp the concept of the nation needing new revenue streams to rebuild. Incidentally, the average job in the cannabis industry already starts at around $15 per hour. The growing and selling of legal marijuana has kept hundreds of thousands of families from sinking into financial ruins during the pandemic.
It makes sense to take it nationwide.
The results of the new survey should come as no surprise. Some of the latest Gallup polls show marijuana legalization has the powerhouse support of around 68% of the U.S. population. National support on this issue has consistently lingered somewhere between 60 and 65% for the past few years, which political analysts argue should force Congress to act.
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It just so happens that the Democratic-controlled Senate plans to introduce a series of cannabis-related measures in 2021 to try and legalize nationwide. We do not yet understand the full extent of their intentions. Still, it does appear cannabis legalization will get some attention on Capitol Hill this year.