Article by Richard Cowan
The unofficial motto, “Laissez les bons temps rouler” is Cajun French for “Let the Good Times Roll”, but in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the city without warning just as Mardi Gras began, with devastating consequences. This year Mardi Gras was canceled so the good times have not been rolling, and there are not many places that need marijuana more than Louisiana and New Orleans.
According to the Louisiana 2021 Marijuana Poll conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling, sixty-seven percent of Louisianans favor the legalization of both medicinal and recreational marijuana, Reflecting the national trend, that’s 13 points more than the 54% who favored legalization in last year’s poll.
Among JMC’s findings:
- Just like last year’s poll, the strongest area of support was on the question of whether the marijuana plant (in addition to the oil) should be a permissible type of medical marijuana, with an overwhelming 75% majority in favor, compared to 69% last year.
- Only 8% of respondents favor keeping both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana illegal, down four percentage points from 2020.
- Respondents at least 65 years old are much less likely to be supportive of marijuana legalization than those younger than 65.
Meanwhile back in the French Quarter, the hospitality sector has been devastated by the loss of tourism, so adding marijuana to the “menu” makes perfect sense. One of the things that makes the Quarter unique is the custom of carrying drinks out on the streets, often in big “Hurricane Lantern” shaped glasses. Somehow, having a joint in your hand doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
Louisiana’s legalization will also have a real impact on its neighbors and their troglodytic politicians, especially in my native Texas, especially after Mexico’s legalization.
On the other hand, there is a certain poignancy thinking about another of New Orleans nicknames, “The Big Easy”, which is believed to have originated with the musicians like Louis Armstrong, who invented Jazz with a little help from what Armstrong called “Gage.”
When it is finally liberated, there should be a great party to celebrate “Gage” coming home.
Let Freedom Roll.
Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of CBD Seniors for Hemp Blog.