Big Money Tries to Block Marijuana Legalization

Pot! Glorious pot. Few issues have seen a more rapid shift in public opinion, with a majority of Americans now in favor of legalizing marijuana — up from just 34% a decade ago.

But not everybody is down with the reefer. Several industries are buying as much political influence as possible to quell the burgeoning legalization movement.

According to the Pew Research Center, pot is now legal in some form in over half the country. And as legalization advocates have pointed out, things seem to be going pretty well so far. Colorado, for instance, has seen marijuana arrests plummet since legalization was approved by voters in 2012, freeing up law enforcement to focus on other crimes and saving the state millions in enforcement costs. Tax revenues are also through the roof, with legal marijuana set to pour $125 million into state coffers last year alone.

Yet some political leaders still aren’t convinced. The most recent example: Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who doubled down on her opposition to legalization in a recent interview with the New York Times, putting her at odds with 65% of self-identified Democrats.

Why would one of the Democratic party’s top figures take such an unusual stance?

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