A lot can be said about America’s green marijuana wave that has been sweeping across the country during the last couple of years. It started way back with California and even though that should’ve gotten the ball rolling, all the terrible marijuana raids put the evolution of cannabis in the U.S. to a rapid halt. However, with Colorado and Washington now leading the way in legalization of recreational marijuana, it seems that public opinion on the issue of medical marijuana is finally shifting. Also, the emergence of numerous testimonials that have shown how marijuana indeed does work with certain illnesses has certainly helped the overall image of medical marijuana. Naturally, some of the states lean more towards the legalization of marijuana, while some more conservative states like Texas are still describing it as a gateway drug.
Shift in Public Opinion
Despite the fact that legalization of marijuana has been almost exclusively reserved for more liberal states, it seems that the state of Utah is currently balancing on the tipping point of medical marijuana legalization. In fact, to be even more precise, it seems that the majority (51%) is quite supportive of medical marijuana legalization. On the other hand, 33% of Utahans seem to support legalization of marijuana for recreational use. This statistics just proves what we doubted all along – that Utah is not ready to go “all in” and follow Colorado and Washington. In our opinion, they shouldn’t rush things at all, especially when its people are so divided on the subject. Its better to take baby steps with a controversial issue such as this one than to legalize marijuana for medical and then recreational use, all in a time period of a couple of months. Regulations could suffer for it, and the people of Utah would ultimately give up on the notions altogether, especially if it fails at the very beginning.
Medical Marijuana vs Prescription Drugs
The main reason for the shift in public opinions seems to be education on the effects, possible dangers and side effects of marijuana. When compared to other prescription drugs, marijuana seems a lot less harmful than Oxycontin and has almost zero side effects. The public also seems to understand that marijuana doesn’t cure everything, it is not a miracle drug that will cure all types of cancer within a couple of weeks, nor will it relieve you of chronic conditions in a short time frame. What marijuana can do successfully almost instantly is relieve you of pain, increase your quality of life and help you stabilize your condition. In short, Utahans support the legalization of medical marijuana because they believe everyone should have a choice when it comes to pain relief. Considering the fact this is Utah we are talking about after all, legalization of recreational use seems like a long way to go. However, Mormons seem to be big fans of recreational marijuana but take that with a pinch of salt. This is a poll, after all. We’ll keep you posted on future medical marijuana updates in Utah.