Poll: 66% of Americans Want Recreational Marijuana Legalized Federally

NEW YORK — New Jersey is putting the finishing touches on its long-awaited launch for legal recreational use of marijuana with sales at select dispensaries beginning Thursday.

So where are we now, when it comes to drug laws and opinions?

World Weed Day, 4/20, sparked additional activity in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.

“It feels positive. I feel like the community is much more accepting of marijuana use,” artist Roxy Wood told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

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In New York state, marijuana possession and use is legal for adults 21 and older, with the state issuing the first sales licenses in the fall.

New Jersey roared ahead of New York with the Garden State up and running with seven incensed dispensaries and recreational sales beginning Thursday.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, merchant Joseph Ruggiero has long called it progress.

“Hopefully now we’re a little bit calmer that we don’t have to be thrown in the ground and jailed and prosecuted for a plant that we’ve known for generations is not harmful,” he said.

It showed CBS2 inside their mobile business, 9th Cloud Smoke Shop.

“I would really like to get a license. The only thing that stops me is what stops everyone: there is a lot of red tape,” he said.

In almost every state, old marijuana laws are being rewritten.

Acceptance of marijuana is growing, according to a CBS News poll, which found that 66% of Americans say recreational marijuana should be legal in their state. That same percentage wants legalization at the federal level.

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While there is new hope and new opportunity, there is also some trepidation and concern about the process and how it unfolds.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he wants thoughtful and equitable implementation. He wants the city to spend $4.8 million to help people in communities hardest hit by marijuana-related crime and empower minority communities so they can learn about the industry and start new small businesses to meet demand.

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