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MASON CITY, IA — While marijuana may still be considered illegal at the federal level a surprising new statistic is shocking law makers when it comes to marijuana legislation. Which has one local group looking to educate Mason City residents on the hot button issue.
It’s been often called the prohibition of our era, despite marijuana sales booming into the estimated $1.5 billion dollar industry it is today.
So it may come as a surprise some but not to all that for the first time according to a recent poll by USA Today, a majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana to some extent.
“I have yet to hear someone tell me that they would want to deny access to marijuana to someone with terminal cancer whom it may benefit, may improve their quality of life during their last days,” says Mary Schissel of the Mason City Youth Task Force.
We decided to put that stat to the test and conduct our own research and what we found is that of the ten random people chosen, only one person suggested that marijuana should be illegal no matter what it’s used for. While eight believed that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes and one believed it should be completely legalized.
For most, legalizing just medical marijuana remained a popular option, however according to Mary, it’s all about availability.
“Even for medical marijuana, you still have greater access to marijuana. Although the majority of our young people by age high school say marijuana is almost as easy to get as alcohol,” said Mary.
The multi-billion dollar activity continues to grow and according to experts may reach three billion dollars in revenue by 2018. Something experts say is too high of a risk to ignore.
“The Youth Task Force has realized this is an issue and that by ignoring it, and just waiting for someone higher up the pay grade then we are, to make a decision about it, is not a smart way to go,” said Mary.
Mary stresses that there needs to be some sort of discussion within not only the Mason City community, but on a national level and that these discussions cannot begin without being educated on the facts.