- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2017

More than two-thirds of the nation’s police officers believe marijuana should be legal for either personal or medical use as lawmakers in state after state continue to advocate for ending the country’s prohibition on pot.

A survey of nearly 8,000 law enforcement officials showed roughly seven of 10 think weed should be legal for one reason or another, according to the results of a Pew Research Center poll published Wednesday.

Specifically, 32 percent of police officers polled said they thought pot should be legal for both medical and recreational use, while 37 percent favored legalizing weed solely for medicinal reasons, the study found. Thirty percent of the officers surveyed said marijuana should be illegal across the board, medical and recreational weed alike.

Compared to the general public, however, police are far less inclined to legalize marijuana. Forty-nine percent of Americans currently favor legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana, while only 15 percent said weed should not be legal under any circumstances, according to the poll.

Pew’s findings are based on data collected during a survey of 7,917 officers in local police and sheriff departments between May and August during the run-up to a general election where pro-weed measures succeeded in several states.

California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine legalized recreational marijuana as a result of the Nov. 8 election, in addition to Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota each passing measures allowing for the use of medical weed.

Recreational and medical marijuana is currently legal in 8 and 28 states, respectively, in addition to Washington, D.C., in spite of cannabis considered contraband in the eyes of the federal government.

On Thursday, Democratic state Sen. Martin Looney told The Wall Street Journal he wants Connecticut to become the ninth state to legalize recreational weed.

“There seems to be a national trend moving in that direction,” Mr. Looney told the newspaper.

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