Advocate for pot legalization sees growing bipartisan support

Marijuana advocate Charlie Wilson says support for legalization is no longer a partisan issue, thanks in large part to a shift in the public's views.

Wilson, who is the chief financial officer of Green Bits, emphasized the growing support among both Republicans and Democrats for a marijuana legalization bill, the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act.

If passed, the bipartisan bill would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.

“This bill itself is bipartisan and I would say the support around this industry is increasingly bipartisan, you have states – thirty-one states have legalized – you have nearly 200 million Americans that are under the jurisdiction of legal cannabis in the United States and you have a high support from the American population,” Wilson told Hill.TV co-host Krystal Ball on “Rising.”

About sixty-one percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last year. 

But this is just part of a growing trend that has been seen over the last decade. 

While Democrats tend to be more supportive of legalization, Wilson added that both conservative and liberal lawmakers are now noticing the growing acceptance and the possible benefits of the booming industry.

“You’re generating tax revenues, you’re creating jobs and high-skill jobs in a lot of respects – those are issues that resonate with Republicans and Democrats alike and that’s why you’re seeing this momentum behind this industry,” Wilson said.

— Tess Bonn