Following the November elections, 28 states have legalized medical marijuana, and eight of those have legalized marijuana for recreational use. The federal government, however, still considers marijuana a Schedule I narcotic.
Now, a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center of nearly 8,000 police officers found that a combined two-thirds, or 69 percent, believe that marijuana should be legal for either medical or recreational purposes, notes the Washington Post.
“It’s time for law enforcement to admit that the drug war has been a failure,” Nick Morrow, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy who supported California's Prop.64 legalizing recreational marijuana use, told the Orange County Register. “Marijuana is not going to go away if you do nothing. I don’t see the rationale in not regulating it. ...If you don’t support intelligent regulation, you’re supporting the cartels.”
According to the Washington Post, the Pew survey found that 30 percent of police officers believe marijuana should not be legalized at all -- medicinally or otherwise.
Speaking at his Secretary of State confirmation hearing on Jan. 10, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama addressed his policy on marijuana:
“Using good judgment on how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine," he began, notes The Hill. "I know it won’t be an easy decision but I will try to do my duty in a fair and just way."
Recent national polls show that 80 percent of Americans support legalizing medicinal marijuana, while 60 percent support wider legalization for adults.
“One obvious concern is the United States Congress has made the possession in every state and distribution an illegal act," Session added. "If that’s something that’s not desired any longer Congress should pass a law to change the rule. It is not the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce.”