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Most Americans agree to decriminalize marijuana

More than 60 percent of Americans surveyed want to legalize the use of marijuana, an increase from the 40 percent in favor of it in 2011.

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Thank goodness election day is over. We’ll get a reprieve from all the hype-infested political advertising. This election season has done something I thought was impossible. It’s made me long for traditional advertising, where retailers tell me that I’ll be smarter/better/thinner/richer/whatever if I just buy their product.

We need a new gizmo, a political TiVo. It doesn’t have to skip over the political ads, although that would be nice. It could simply replace the ads with a more soothing sound, like crying babies or chainsaws at full throttle.

And it’s not just television. I get ads all day across my computer when surfing the net, and even on my cell phone.

I realize that the price of using web browsers for free is that I give up my soul to digital marketing, but my phone? That’s not free. I pay dearly for it.

It’s not right that I can be hounded incessantly by marketers that I’ve tried to block. We need a product for this as well. Maybe something that includes a cattle prod and high voltage.

But I’m off topic…

It’s election day, and we have all of those ads because we’re a house that’s almost evenly divided. And neither side shows much interest in shuffling toward the middle.

Almost every issue is a point of contention, but not all.

Marijuana was on the ballot in four states, with North Dakota and Michigan voting on recreational adult use, while Utah and Missouri vote on access to medical marijuana. Other jurisdictions, such as Ohio and some counties in Wisconsin, were voting to decriminalize pot. It seems on this issue that most Americans agree.

marijuana

Seven years ago, 50 percent of Americans believe marijuana should remain illegal. (Photo by DepositPhotos)

In 2011, 50 percent of us thought marijuana should remain illegal, while just over 40 percent wanted to legalize the drug. The rest were undecided.

Now, more than 60 percent want to legalize pot, with less than 40 percent against.

Even at our recent Irrational Economic Summit, the crowd was overwhelmingly in favor. During an electronic poll, 53 percent of the attendees voted for medical marijuana, 40 percent for recreational, and only 7 percent against any legal access. Lumping the medical and recreational together, that was a 93 percent vote for legal pot.

Recreational marijuana is already legal nine states and the District of Columbia, while 31 states and D.C. have approved medical marijuana. The votes in the four states mentioned above will certainly add at least two more to those numbers.

As I told the audience at our conference two weeks ago, marijuana has not changed. It’s the same plant, same drug, that has been used (and abused) by people for more than 5,000 years.

Instead, we have changed. Or should I say, our attitude has changed. We’re learning, or possibly relearning, some of the benefits of medical marijuana, and many of today’s decision makers were yesterday’s hippies. They used marijuana in their youth, lived to tell the tale, and think of it as on par with alcohol, not crack or LSD.

Because the U.S. government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, we don’t have a lot of research on its long-term effects. As voters legalize it around the country, we’ll find out more.

We’ll also see many businesses spring up to take advantage of the newly opened markets, eventually giving us investing opportunities. I’ll be following these closely in the months ahead.

That’s one good thing that might come out of this year’s hard-fought election cycle. It’s enough to make some people want to smoke pot… and watch television.

(Featured image by DepositPhotos)

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Rodney works closely with Harry Dent at Economy and Markets to study the purchasing power of people as they move through predictable stages of life, how that purchasing power drives our economy and how readers can use this information to invest successfully in the markets. Rodney began his career in financial services on Wall Street in the 1980s with Thomson McKinnon and then Prudential Securities. He started working on projects with Harry in the mid-1990s. He’s a regular guest on several radio programs and is featured on television where he discusses economic trends ranging from the price of oil to the direction of the U.S. economy. He too is a regular guest on Fox Business’s “America’s Nightly Scorecard.” Rodney’s book, Irrational Economics, explains the forces that you cannot see but that really drive the economy and markets and can cause your wealth to rise or fall. To survive and prosper, you need the new money rules of the 21st century, which he outlines in this book. He holds degrees from Georgetown University and Southern Methodist University.

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