U.S.: New Gallup Poll Shows Record 58% Support For Marijuana Legalization


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A majority of Americans continue to say marijuana should be legal in the United States, with 58 percent now holding that opinion, equaling the highest-ever support in Gallup's 46-year trend.

Support for legalizing recreational cannabis has grown steadily among Americans over time, reports Jeffrey M. Jones at Gallup. When Gallup first asked the question, back in the heady hippy days of 1969, just 12 percent of Americans said they thought marijuana use should be legal, with little change in two early 1970s polls.

But by the late 70s, with tacit approval from the Carter White House, support had increased to about 25 percent, and held near that point through the mid-1990s. The percentage of Americans who favored making cannabis legal passed 30 percent by 2000, and topped 50 percent by 2009.

Support has vacillated over the past six years, but averaged 48 percent from 2010 through 2012, and has averaged above 56 percent since 2013.

The higher level of support comes as many states and localities are changing, or at least considering changing, their laws on cannabis. So far, four states -- Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska -- have made recreational marijuana use legal, along with the District of Columbia. Ohio voters are set next month to decide a ballot initiative that would do the same thing, albeit in a fashion which hands control of commercial growing to just 10 wealthy investors who are financing the campaign.

New Jersey: Princeton University Employee Put On Leave For Legal Medical Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Princeton University employee and cannabis legalization activist who said he was told to choose between his job and using medical marijuana is now on paid leave as university officials decide what to do next.

Don DeZarn, 48, of East Windsor, New Jersey, said on Tuesday that Princeton officials told him he couldn't continue working in his job as senior operations manager of campus dining if he used medicinal cannabis, reports the Associated Press. DeZarn said he doesn't use medical marijuana on the job, but had let the university know about it in case he ever needed to use it for an "emergency situation."

Princeton officials claimed DeZarn wasn't being forced to choose between his health and jis job. University spokesman Martin Mbugua said DeZarn was placed on paid leave and invited to discuss "reasonable accommodations" for his disability; the university met with him on Tuesday to begin that process.

After being placed on leave, DeZarn said he was directed to leave the campus.

"It's the best job I've ever had," DeZarn said, reports Mike Davis at the Times of Trenton. "It's a great place to work. I'm just hopeful that this whole thing has just been an oversight on someone's part."

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