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Governor Wolf Meets with Advocates and Encourages Lawmakers to Pass Medical Marijuana Legislation | Photo courtesy: Creative Commons by governortomwolf
Governor Wolf Meets with Advocates and Encourages Lawmakers to Pass Medical Marijuana Legislation | Photo courtesy: Creative Commons by governortomwolf

New poll shows legal marijuana approved by a majority of Philadelphians

Public opinion on marijuana legalization has shifted. 

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A majority of Philadelphians are looking to legalize marijuana, according to reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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A Franklin and Marshall Poll that was released Thursday shows a shift in public opinion over recreational use of the drug.

Previous polls from the company indicated that a majority of Philadelphians previously opposed legalization, with a report from two years ago stating that only 40 percent of responders were pro- recreational use, up from 22 percent in 2006.
Pollster G. Terry Madonna told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the swift change could be due to a shift in the perception of marijuana, “There is a growing cultural acceptance of marijuana use. Maybe it’s inevitable.”

And the shift can be felt nationwide, eight states and the District of Columbia have eliminated penalties for personal use and possession of small amounts of pot, in addition to the 19 states that moved towards decriminalization.

Pennsylvania, one of the 29 states that have legalized medicinal use, is apparently moving even closer to recreational use as Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney reportedly told WHYY that should marijuana be legalized, it should be sold at the state-controlled stores to capture revenue.

"To me we have the perfect system to set up the legal recreational use of cannabis through a controlled state store system allowing the state to capture all the income that is going to the underground," Kenney told WHYY.

The mayor that under state control, marijuana use by minors could be prevented and public education can be improved with the funds.
"The hardest place to get served underage in Philadelphia when I was growing up was a Pennsylvania state liquor store," he said. "You could get a bartender to look the other way and sell you a six-pack when you are 19, but when you went into a state store they wanted to see your license they didn't care."

Though legalization is increasing in popular opinion, Governor Wolf has been open about his decision to wait and see how other states who have legalized use are doing economically.

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