The Pew Research Center released findings today from a new poll that surveyed nearly 8,000 police officers across the country. The study, titled Behind the Badge, dove into several topics that included cannabis, and the findings were actually quite surprising. Pew found that more than 68 percent of police officers thought the government should legalize medical cannabis, and 32 percent supported the full legalization. Only 30 percent were in favor of the federal prohibition we have now, meaning more officers are for full legalization than full prohibition.
At this point, the only majorities supporting prohibition seem to be Big Pharma, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the private prison system and civil rights opponents named Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.
Law enforcement has grown more progressive on cannabis-related issues, but it still trails the general public. Pew found that 49 percent of the public supported full legalization, 84 percent for medical cannabis and only 15 percent in favor of prohibition. Furthermore, support for prohibition largely reflected age. For example, officers aged 34 and younger were more likely to support legalization (37 percent), as were adults age 44 and younger (63 percent), than their counterparts more advanced in age.
Street art by Herr Nilsson.