In just the last four years, Louisiana's voters have made an about face in the overall opinion of cannabis consumption.

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In an interview with the Louisiana Radio Network, Dr. Ed Chervenak says that a poll recently conducted by the University of New Orleans Survey Research Center, shows that right at sixty percent of Louisiana's registered voters supported legalizing marijuana, and that's an increase of twenty two percent from a similar survey conducted in 2018.

Dr. Chervenak said, "The first several surveys we did, we found the majority of people opposed the legalization of recreational marijuana, but now we’re finding a majority in favor of doing that.

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In most all demographics across Louisiana, the percentage of voters in favor of legalization is well over fifty percent, with the highest numbers recorded among those 18 to 34 and the only demographic with less than fifty percent approval is among those 55 and over.

Chervenak suggests that nationally, people's opinions on recreational marijuana usage have changed and that Louisiana is simply mirroring that sentiment. A couple of key factors are credited with this change.

One of those is a total swap in perception regarding the labeling of marijuana usage as criminal activity. Chervenak added, "Also, I think there are a number of people out there who have benefitted from the therapeutic effects of medical marijuana, and people see other states bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.”

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Though the voter majority has swayed in their opinion of marijuana consumption, any attempt to legalize it in Louisiana would ultimately land on the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards, so the obvious question is, where is he on the issue?

“Previously, he’s been against it,” Chervenak said. “But he’s also said he wanted to see how it played out in other states before he made a final decision.”

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