Support for Legal Marijuana Reached Tipping Point

Apr 4, 2013

For the first time, a major US poll has found that a major­ity of Amer­i­cans sup­port legal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana. The Pew Research Cen­ter announced Thurs­day that 52 per­cent of Amer­i­cans say that mar­i­juana use should be made legal, ver­sus 45 per­cent who say it should not. The trend line has been mov­ing grad­u­ally in the direc­tion of major­ity sup­port for more than 20 years. In 1991, only 17 per­cent sup­ported legal­iza­tion, while 78 per­cent opposed. As with gay mar­riage, which has also seen a sharp rise in sup­port in the past few years, the Pew poll found major gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences in views on mar­i­juana. Among Mil­len­ni­als – those now aged 18 to 32 – sup­port is at 65 per­cent, up from just 36 per­cent in 2008. Among Gen­er­a­tion X, those born between 1965 and 1980, sup­port has risen dra­mat­i­cally, from 28 per­cent in 1994 to 54 per­cent today. Half of Baby Boomers sup­port legal­ized mar­i­juana today, and among the over-65 Silent Gen­er­a­tion sup­port has dou­bled since 2002 – from 17 per­cent to 32 per­cent. Among other note­wor­thy find­ings in the Pew poll: Nearly three in four Amer­i­cans (72 per­cent) say gov­ern­ment efforts to enforce mar­i­juana laws cost more than they are worth. Sixty per­cent say the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should not enforce fed­eral laws pro­hibit­ing mar­i­juana use in states that have legal­ized it. Last Novem­ber, vot­ers in Col­orado and Wash­ing­ton state approved the per­sonal use of small amounts of mar­i­juana. Some 48 per­cent of Amer­i­cans say they have tried mar­i­juana, up from 38 per­cent a decade ago. Repub­li­cans oppose legal­iza­tion, while Democ­rats sup­port it. Among Repub­li­cans, it’s 37 per­cent favor­ing legal­iza­tion to 60 per­cent oppos­ing. Among Democ­rats, 59 per­cent say legal­ize it and 39 per­cent say don’t. Marijuana’s image as a “gate­way” drug is fad­ing. Today, 38 per­cent of Amer­i­cans agree that “for most peo­ple the use of mar­i­juana leads to the use of hard drugs.” In 1977, 60 per­cent felt that way. Despite the trends, those opposed to legal­iza­tion are not giv­ing up. In a col­umn in the Wash­ing­ton Post, for­mer Bush admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial Peter Wehner writes that as Repub­li­cans search for new issues to cham­pion, fight­ing drug use and legal­iza­tion should be one. “Today, many par­ents rightly believe the cul­ture is against them. Gov­ern­ment poli­cies should stand with respon­si­ble par­ents – and under no cir­cum­stances actively under­mine them,” writes Mr. Wehner, a senior fel­low at the Ethics and Pub­lic Pol­icy Cen­ter in Wash­ing­ton. “Drug legal­iza­tion would do exactly that. It would send an unmis­tak­able sig­nal to every­one, includ­ing the young: Drug use is not a big deal.” But in fact, Wehner writes, “the law is a moral teacher,” and gov­ern­ment can play a role in the shap­ing of char­ac­ter. There­fore, “Repub­li­cans should pre­fer that it be a con­struc­tive one, which is why they should speak out force­fully and intel­li­gently against drug legal­iza­tion.” Source: Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor (US) Author: Linda Feld­mann, Staff Writer Pub­lished: April 4, 2013 Copy­right: 2013 The Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Pub­lish­ing Soci­ety Con­tact: letters@​csmonitor.​com Web­site: http://​www​.csmon​i​tor​.com/

406f58a3e2fbuo9q.gif 150x83 Support for Legal Marijuana Reached Tipping Point

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Sup­port for Legal Mar­i­juana Reached Tip­ping Point

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