Sounds like with in 20 years marijuana will be legal.
A Gallup poll released yesterday finds that 50 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana while 46 percent are opposed.
This represents something of a landmark ó so far as I can tell, this is the first independent and scientific national survey to have found a plurality in support of legalizing marijuana. But letís take a quick look at it in the context of other surveys on the question.
What Iíve done here is to gather all of Gallupís past polls on legalization, which date back to 1969, along with other surveys included in the PollingReport.com database. Iíve also included polling from the General Social Survey, which has been conducted roughly once every other year since 1972. (The most recent edition of the General Social Survey, in 2010, also found a significant increase in support for marijuana legalization ó up to 48 percent support from 38 percent when the poll was conducted in 2008).
If you plot the polls on a graph and use regression smoothing to create trendlines from them, it implies that opinion on marijuana legalization is probably now divided about equally, with about 48 percent of Americans in favor, 48 percent opposed, and a small number undecided.
But I would advise some caution. This issue is not surveyed as frequently as something like gay marriage, so the polling is not as robust, and the statistical technique applied here can sometimes be too eager in chasing down trends.
Simply taking an average of the three surveys on legalization conducted so far in 2011 finds 45 percent in favor and 51 percent opposed, which I suspect is a more realistic estimate of the current state of opinion.
At the same time, itís clear that opinions on legalization have been shifting ó quite radically, in fact, from the 1980s and early 1990s, when polls generally found only about 20 percent support.
It should also be clear from the chart that there is no guarantee that support for legalization will continue to grow. It dropped quite a bit between the late 1970s, when pollsters were finding about 30 percent in support of legalization, and the ďJust Say NoĒ to drugs years of the following decades.
But the legalization position should have something of a wind at its back because of [B]generational politics. In the Gallup poll, there is a fairly sharp split between those who came of age in the 1960s, and those aged 65 and older ó many of whom grew up in a generation when marijuana use was not common. Only 31 percent of the older group support legalization now[/B].
Meanwhile, support is as high as 62 percent among Americans under age 30, although there is some evidence that support for legalization can erode as people age and have children
[QUOTE=TerminatorJet;4198238]The 46% who are still opposed are 100% mentally deficient.[/QUOTE]
One of my buddies is a police officer. It seems to me he has the "It should be illegal because it is illegal viewpoint". (He defiantly has an issue with me characterizing his opinion this way) I think that is the way a lot of those folks over 65 feel. But what do I know.
as with most political issues, it comes down to money, not what the people want.
I know a friend who works for a huge multi-national alcohol company. The amount of money they spend in washington, to keep the war on drugs going, is huge. They can't abide another drug becoming legal, cause it will impact the market share for their drug.
Similarly the hemp product has opposition from big cotton, big paper, big oil (plastic). Hemp could put all these huge industries out of business and they all lobby against it.
Ironically the only big lobby who is for legalization is big tobacco. Cause they have the infrastructure to make huge profits off processing and selling another smoke-able plant product.
Legalize at the federal level
Let individual states set their own policies
The criminalization of marijuana is completely ineffective. There is a huge demand for this substance, and due to its current legal status, it is driving a crime riddled black market to the tune of billions of dollars. The obvious and logical solution is legalization and regulation.
Its a tricky issue. When you get down to specifics it can be a slippery slope. for example I would be 100% for the decriminalization of pot. Its a waste of resources to jail pot smokers and dealers. But I'm not sure I want to see it being sold in every convenience store in the country like Cigarettes and Beer. That would be a bit too easy access. At the same time if they did sell it at stores the GOV could tax it heavily to pay for the greater war on hard drugs. That thought has some appeal as well.