MJ Debate Catches Fire Among College Students

Oct 26, 2013

Sup­port for mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion has reached a new high — and young adults are fuel­ing the flames. A Gallup poll released Tues­day revealed a major­ity of adults back cannabis legal­iza­tion for the first time since Gallup asked the ques­tion in 1969. 58% of the respon­dents sup­ported the idea, but among 18– to 29-year-olds the fig­ure jumps to 67%. Michael Ken­ney, pro­fes­sor of inter­na­tional affairs at the Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh, says sup­port­ive atti­tudes were inevitable among Mil­len­ni­als who came of age in the midst of the legal­iza­tion debate. “Every year, mil­lions of oth­er­wise law-abiding cit­i­zens are using cannabis,” Ken­ney says. “It’s not nec­es­sar­ily looked down on by young peo­ple. It’s no big whoop.” Kar­illa Dyer, a junior at the Uni­ver­sity of Florida, meets very few peo­ple who haven’t tried the drug. Smok­ing should be con­sid­ered a lifestyle choice, she says. “If some­one wants to smoke mar­i­juana occa­sion­ally in a social set­ting or just to relax, it should not be more ille­gal than hav­ing a glass of wine,” the 21-year-old says. “Pot is not some­thing that ruins lives.” Cur­rently, 20 states and Wash­ing­ton, D.C., allow smoked mar­i­juana to be used for a vari­ety of med­ical con­di­tions. Col­orado and Wash­ing­ton became the first states to legal­ize recre­ational use. This is in stark con­trast to the “just say no” men­tal­ity spear­headed by First Lady Nancy Rea­gan in the ’80s, says Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Mar­i­juana Pol­icy Project. “The fed­eral gov­ern­ment and anti-marijuana cru­saders have been exag­ger­at­ing the harms for decades,” he says. “Young peo­ple are hear­ing more about mar­i­juana and mar­i­juana pol­icy than ever before and real­iz­ing it’s less harm­ful than alco­hol.” Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Project Smart Approaches to Mar­i­juana and author of Reefer San­ity, says not all col­lege stu­dents are bowled over by health claims. “Stu­dents really don’t want to jeop­ar­dize their future prospects,” he says. “Mar­i­juana can cause prob­lems in the class­room and job per­for­mance.” Sabet also says Gallup’s poll doesn’t take into con­sid­er­a­tion how Amer­i­cans feel about mar­i­juana sales. “I think stu­dents are wary of another indus­try like the tobacco indus­try, another cor­po­rate inter­est that is going to live off people’s addic­tion,” Sabet says. But Car­lan Loeb-Muth, 22, thinks the finan­cial prospects are bol­ster­ing sup­port. “I feel the legal­iza­tion would sig­nif­i­cantly help America’s econ­omy,” the Geor­gia State Uni­ver­sity junior says. “A good chunk of the prof­its go towards taxes.” Argu­ments for legal­iza­tion cross party lines, says Alex Kreit, asso­ciate law pro­fes­sor at San Diego’s Thomas Jef­fer­son School of Law. He says decrim­i­nal­iz­ing mar­i­juana ben­e­fits tra­di­tional right-leaning ten­ants like lim­ited gov­ern­ment and Demo­c­ra­tic con­cerns like the racial dis­par­ity in drug-law enforce­ment. “It makes me think that this issue espe­cially has the poten­tial to drive politi­cians,” he says. “Par­ties have an inher­ent inter­est in appeal­ing to young peo­ple early, and there are com­pelling argu­ments on both sides in favor of reform.” Despite the increased sup­port for legal­iza­tion, young adult mar­i­juana use has decreased, accord­ing to poll data. Mil­len­ni­als reported smok­ing less than their par­ents, with Gallup report­ing 36% admit­ted to try­ing weed com­pared to 56% of youths in the late ’70s and ’80s. Joey McGuire, a senior at Minnesota’s Winona State Uni­ver­sity, says even for stu­dents who don’t smoke, cur­rent laws reflect a trou­bling lim­i­ta­tion of per­sonal free­doms. “The gov­ern­ment is designed to pro­tect us from each other and should have no rights decid­ing what we can or can­not do for our­selves,” the 21-year-old says. “I should be able to make any deci­sion for myself as long as it doesn’t neg­a­tively affect oth­ers.” Tvert says in some ways, young adult atti­tudes toward mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion mir­ror their feel­ings about mar­riage equal­ity. In March, a joint Wash­ing­ton Post-ABC sur­vey put same-sex mar­riage approval rates at 70% among Mil­len­ni­als — 3% above the weed approval rate. “The same rea­son a het­ero­sex­ual per­son might sup­port mar­riage equal­ity is why some­one who doesn’t smoke might sup­port legal­iza­tion,” he says. “They rec­og­nize it’s the right thing to do.” Source: USA Today (US) Author: Shayna Posses, USA Today Pub­lished: Octo­ber 25, 2013 Copy­right: 2013 USA Today, a divi­sion of Gan­nett Co. Inc. Con­tact: editor@​usatoday.​com Web­site: http://​www​.usato​day​.com/

926d2152bfnnabis.jpg 150x75 MJ Debate Catches Fire Among College Students

See the orig­i­nal post here:
MJ Debate Catches Fire Among Col­lege Students

Leave a Comment