Marijuana legalization advocates scored two victories this week, as a Senate Democrat came out in favor of legalization and Missouri moved closer to joining the growing number of states that decriminalize recreational or medicinal pot.
On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she was dropping her opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana — a significant win for advocates in a state at the forefront of the legalization movement. And the Missouri House advanced a bill that would legalize medical marijuana for residents over 18, with certain conditions.
Federally, pot remains illegal and is classified as a Schedule I drug, alongside substances like heroin and LSD.
But growing public support for legalization is placing new pressure on legislators to back legalization laws, said Keith Stroup, a founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, a leading marijuana advocacy group.
“Realistically what you are seeing is a reflection of higher polling numbers that marijuana legislation has been getting over the last 5 years,” Stroup said in an interview Thursday.
Opponents of legalization argue that campaign contributions are behind the surge in pro-pot support.
Growing public support for marijuana legalization is placing new pressure on legislators to back legalization laws.
“Big money is the answer,” Carla Lowe, the founder of the California-based group Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, said. “That’s