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Friday, April 23, 2010

60 percent of Americans support medical marijuana

April 23, 2010

WICHITA, Kansas – Supporters of medical marijuana told a house panel it’s a good substitute for pain relief prescriptions on the market now. A new poll from the Associated Press and CNBC shows that it’s a feeling that millions across the U.S. share – marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes.

"The poll suggests that Americans are in favor of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” said Trish Regan with CNBC. “In fact, 60 percent told us that. Also, the majority of Americans, better than 70 percent, tell us that they believe that there's some medicinal benefit to marijuana."

Democratic Representative Gail Finney from Wichita introduced a bill this year that would allow marijuana be used legally for medical purposes.

"There are people that silently use marijuana for their pain and for their comfort and I don't think they should be criminalized for it,” Finney said.Some even say medical marijuana could help solve state budget problems.

That poll showed between $16 billion and $20 billion in new revenue nationwide from taxing marijuana. Right now, 14 states allow it, but that poll shows that it’s still a topic Americans feel strongly about.

“One-third of the country is saying, ‘Yes, we should legalize pot for any reason, recreational, medicinal, you name it,’ and 55 percent of Americans say, ‘We're still not sure,’” Regan said.

Many lawmakers in Kansas are in that camp. Representative Scott Schwab, a Republican from Olathe said it “has no benefit for pain management.”Finney’s bill stalled in committee and is dead for this legislative session.

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