Surveys Say: Home Cannabis Gardening Cheered, Driving While High Laws Jeered

Millions of Americans would grow marijuana at home if it was legal, according to a new, nationwide Harris Poll.

The survey, which was conducted on behalf of Green State Gardener, a DIY lifestyle brand aimed at young urban gardeners, found an estimated 44.5 million adults (gardeners and non-gardeners alike) would grow their own cannabis for personal use if it was legalized.

That number increased from 10 percent of adults in 2015 to 18 percent in 2016. The age group most likely to grow their own if legal is millennials (18-34 year olds) at 26 percent.

“A year or two of research doesn’t establish a trend yet, but the jump in these numbers is pretty significant,” says industry analyst Bruce Butterfield. “The largest number of adults most likely to grow marijuana themselves is 18 to 34 year olds, followed by baby boomers aged 55-plus.”

Other survey findings:

* 59 percent of adults think medicinal use of marijuana should be legalized;

* 44 percent of gardeners and 39 percent of non-gardeners think possession of small amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized;

* Millennial’s interest in “grow your own” if legal increased from 14 percent in 2015 to 26 percent in 2016.

Green State Gardeners includes a handy-dandy graphic with the results at the end of this post. But first, a study by the safety foundation of AAA, the nation’s largest automobile club, finds that motorists are being convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana based on arbitrary state standards that have no connection to whether the driver was actually impaired.

Nine states, including some that have legalized marijuana for medical use, have zero-tolerance laws for driving and marijuana that make not only any presence of THC in a driver’s blood illegal, but also the presence of its metabolites, which can linger in a driver’s bloodstream for weeks after any impairment has dissipated.

That makes no sense, said Mark A. R. Kleiman, a New York University professor specializing in issues involving drugs and criminal policy. “A law against driving with THC in your bloodstream is not a law you can know you are obeying except by never smoking marijuana or never driving,” he said.

If you think the survey might lead to decriminalization of laws on driving while high, you need to know the AAA research also shows fatal collisions where marijuana played a role rose considerably in states that legalized pot. These findings were mostly based on experiences in Washington state.

Who knows if either of these AAA findings will play a role in the November ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in California, which has received supports from everyone from Gavin Newsom to Dana Rohrabacher?

That graphic:

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