Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marijuana legalization is more popular than ever

Support for legalizing marijuana may be at an all-time high, after several recent developments. Maine voters decided earlier this month to allow the sale of over-the-counter medical marijuana at state-licensed dispensaries, and the American Medical Association reversed its previous position by urging the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, Karl Vick of The Washington Post reports. The news will encourage those who see cannabis sativa as a new source of farm income, both for medicinal purposes and hemp.

Neither of the recenmt developments may have helped marijuana's cause more than the election of President Barack Obama. The president followed through on a campaign promise to halt federal prosecutions of medical marijuana use where permitted by state law, Vick reports. Obama is also the third consecutive president to admit to having smoked marijuana, but the first to regard it with something close to nonchalance. The president's attitude may be a reflection of the generational change that saw a record 44 percent of Americans favor full legalization of marijuana in an October Gallup Poll.

"Anti-drug advocates counter with surveys showing high school students nationwide already are more likely to smoke marijuana than tobacco -- and that the five states with the highest rate of adolescent pot use permit medical marijuana," Vick writes. Advocates for legalization say evidence suggests violence associated with the marijuana trade flows from its prohibition. Bruce Merkin, communications director for the D.C.-based advocacy group, Marijuana Policy Project, told Vick, "There is a reason you don't have Mexican beer cartels planting fields of hops in the California forests." (Read more)

1 comment:

david scott said...

Marijuana prohibition has been a total failure and is perhaps this country's greatest mistake. Not only has it created criminals out of nearly a third of the country's populace, it costs our society billions of dollars every year, creates a strain on our prison system, and has little or no effect on marijuana use in the US. In some cases, prosecuting marijuana use has turned non-violent, middle class kids into violent and unpredictable, career criminals. Once a person has a criminal conviction on their record, they are far less likely to find a good job and become a useful member of society. Other countries with more liberal drug laws have much lower rates of drug addiction among their people. I invite you to my web-page devoted to raising awareness on the assault on our civil liberties: http://freethegods.blogspot.com/