A recent study conducted by researchers at Boston University in 2018 showed that a slight majority of the current mayors holding office across the U.S. were in favour of seeing legislation that will legalize marijuana.

The Menino Survey of Mayors for 2018 showed that, of 110 mayors in 37 states, 53% said they were in support of marijuana sales in their cities specifically, while only 35% were directly opposed to the idea.

The study also discussed whether their particular views were related to values, and the predominant answer was more related to practicality of implementation rather than philosophy.

Of the mayors surveyed and shown in favour of marijuana legalization, 62% were Democrats. This is compared to 25% of Republicans. When asked about ending prohibition, 22% of Democratic mayors and 67% of GOP were against the suggestion.

The 2017 Menino Survey of Mayors, which reached 115 mayors in 39 states, covered different topics that were considered pertinent at the time. However, one issue addressed was funding for the cities for the next five years, and roughly 52% of mayors surveyed felt they only had sufficient funds to cover half of their city’s infrastructure needs for the next five years. This may be one reason that support for marijuana legalization is high in this year’s survey.

Another topic addressed in the 2017 survey was climate change, with a majority of mayors noting that 68% of mayors believe that climate change should be addressed by the cities, even to the point of sacrificing resources. This is another area that may receive support financially from a move to allow marijuana sales and thereby gain some of the resulting revenue for the city’s coffers.

The study is conducted by the Boston University Initiative on Cities, started by the late Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and is intended to bridge a gap between academics and the day-to-day realities of governing a city. The research conducted by the initiative is used to promote policies and strategies to better the current governing practices of municipalities.

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