Thursday, April 4, 2013

Marijuana's Tipping Point?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM

click to enlarge weedgraph.png

For the first time in 44 years of polling on the issue (and no doubt a lot longer than that), a majority of Americans think that Humboldt County's No. 1 cash crop oughta be legal, according to a national survey released today by the Pew Research Center.

Public opinion has been headed this way for a while. Even so, these results are fairly eyebrow-raising. They show a dramatic and rapid shift in attitudes about the "devil weed." Support for legalization has jumped by 11 percentage points since 2010, the year that Californians (and HumCo voters alike) shot down Prop. 19

Way more people (48 percent) now say they've tried marijuana compared to a decade ago (38 percent). Only 38 percent of people consider pot a "gateway" to harder drugs, compared to 60 percent in 1977. And fewer than one in three people think marijuana use is immoral, compared to half of folks in 2006.

And perhaps most ominous for drug war hardliners (we're looking at you, Kamala Harris  Melinda Haag) is this dank nugget:

Substantial majorities of both Republicans (67%) and Democrats (71%) also say federal enforcement of marijuana laws is not worth the cost.

This sea change in public opinion is looking more and more like an unstopable force, and it's colliding with the immovable object of federal drug schedules. Something's gotta give.

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About The Author

Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns

Bio:
Ryan Burns worked for the Journal from 2008 to 2013, covering a diverse mix of North Coast subjects, from education, politics and marijuana to human suspension, sex parties and amateur fight contests. He won awards for investigative reporting, feature stories and news coverage.

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