Does someone have to be a cannabis consumer in order to support cannabis reform?
For a number of years mainstream media and cannabis opponents were very successful at convincing people that the only support for cannabis reform came from cannabis consumers.
This helped maintain prohibition in two ways:
1.It dramatically downplayed the level of support for cannabis reform, as there are not as many people that consume cannabis as there are non-consumers that support cannabis reform.
2.It sent a chilling effect towards cannabis supporters that didn't consume cannabis.
If someone supported reform, they were presumed to be a cannabis user, and therefore subject to attention from law enforcement.
Many cannabis supporters that were not consumers remained in the shadows as a result.
But thankfully times are changing.
Expressing support for cannabis reform does not result in as much stigma as it used to, and in many parts of America, expressing support for cannabis reform is now welcomed by most people.
Why support from non-cannabis consumers is so important
Some cannabis advocates falsely believe that all that is needed to achieve reform is the support of cannabis consumers.
That is not the case, as the math involved clearly demonstrates.
According to the most recent Gallup poll, 12% of Americans self-identify as being a cannabis consumer (frequency of use is not specified).
Twelve percent is obviously not enough of the American adult population to achieve political victories.
It's a significant population that can achieve a lot, but it's not enough to win in a political system that is predicated on the victorious side getting over 50% of the vote.
The amount of Americans that have consumed cannabis at least once in their life is at an all-time high according to Gallup, but is still short of a majority (45%).
Compare that to Gallup's results for support for legalizing cannabis, which is at 64% according to Gallup.
When looking at the math, it's easy to see why support from non-consumers is significant.
Cannabis reform benefits all members of society
It is not a coincidence that the support for cannabis reform among non-consumers has surged alongside the proliferation of reform across America and the growth of the cannabis industry.
In 2011, support for cannabis reform was at 50% nationwide according to the previously cited Gallup polls.
Support has grown 20% since Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis and to institute a regulated adult-use cannabis system.
Non-cannabis users see the headlines just as much as cannabis consumers do.
Cannabis reform benefits all members of society via:
- Taxes - States with legalized cannabis are expected to generate $655 million in state taxes on retail cannabis sales in 2017 alone according to New Frontier Data
- Jobs - The industry has generated as many as 230,000 jobs to date, with more being created every day.
- Savings from not enforcing failed public policy
- Revitalization of vacant commercial properties that now house cannabis companies
Encourage non-consumers to join the fight to end cannabis prohibition
Chances are if you are reading this you are likely a cannabis consumer. If not, thank you for checking us out, and for your support!
If you are a cannabis consumer, and you know people that are sympathetic to the cause yet don't consume, make sure to thank them and encourage them to express their support publicly.
In doing so they will be inspiring others in a similar situation to do the same, and in the process, let society know that they don't have to consume cannabis to support cannabis reform.
Also, if you know people who are on the fence about cannabis reform (probably because they don't consume), share this article with them and point out the polling and statistics Green Flower has provided.
Many people still fear the stigma that comes with supporting cannabis reform, which is understandable.
It is up to everyone in the cannabis community to reach out to them, to educate them, and to let them know that they are in the majority.
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