Majority Support for Marijuana Legalization?

In a recent Zogby poll, 52 percent of voters said they supported marijuana legalization. As far as I know, this is the first time a national survey has found majority support for repealing cannabis prohibition, as opposed to merely decriminalizing possession for personal use. A couple of caveats:

1. According to a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project, the survey, commissioned by The O'Leary Report, used "a sample of 3,937 voters weighted to match the 2008 presidential outcome—54 percent Obama voters and 46 percent McCain supporters." This sample may be skewed in a pro-reform direction if, as seems plausible, left-leaning Americans were especially motivated to vote in the last presidential election, while conservatives were dispirited. I'm not sure what the exit polls showed on that score.

2. The wording of the question seems slanted:

Scarce law enforcement and prison resources, a desire to neutralize drug cartels and the need for new sources of revenue have resurrected the topic of legalizing marijuana. Proponents say it makes sense to tax and regulate the drug while opponents say that legalization would lead marijuana users to use other illegal drugs. Would you favor or oppose the government's effort to legalize marijuana?

Respondents were presented with three arguments in favor of legalization and only one against, and it was pretty lame. Why would legalizing pot make people more likely to use heroin? Because pot would lose its "forbidden fruit" cachet? That sounds like an antiprohibitionist argument. Also, the phrase "the government's effort to legalize marijuana" makes it sound as if this is something that's already happening, which makes the idea seem more realistic and credible.

Still, this sounds like good news, and it's in line with building support for marijuana legalization in other surveys, as well as recent comments by sitting public officials who say they'e open to discussing the idea.

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  • ||

    I want it legalized just to piss off my co-workers who think it will ruin America if its legal. They deserve the discomfort for being so stupid.

  • ||

    Has anyone examined the opposite of the gateway drug argument? If marijuana were legal, how many users of other illegal drugs would settle for marijuana, like so many people settle for alcohol because marijuana comes with a greater risk at present?

  • ||

    Respondents were presented with three arguments in favor of legalization and only one against, and it was pretty lame.

    I agree with what you are saying Jacob. But it's redundant to call an argument in favor of prohibition "pretty lame".

  • ||

    I'm interested to see, if it is legalized, whether the influx of revenue makes the government so giddy with cash that they decide to legalize everything. Legalizing MJ would be an insane boon to the economy. Hundreds of now-legal businesses catering to boutique MJ customers would spring up overnight. Think of all the products that could now be produced and marketed to MJ users, from bongs to vaporizers to MJ cigs to pot brownies...the list is endless.

    So they'd start thinking "wow, if we now legalized coke..." Besides, now they could do it openly too, instead of behind closed doors off of page's asses.

  • ||

    like so many people settle for alcohol because marijuana comes with a greater risk at present

    I had actually never thought of it that way, even though I (usually) fall into that category. I'll have to test that one next time it comes up at work.

  • Phillip Conti||

    I think that people overestimate the usage of these types of polls, remember it is not only the numbers that matter, but the zeal that people have for a particular issue that matters as well. For example I may favor marijuana legalization or prohibition, but I may be much more interested in capital gains tax issues.

  • ||

    The big deal here would be the commercial applications of marijuana/hemp when the laws are finally changed. Fuel, oil, paint, cloth, paper -- God does not make mistakes, and industrial hemp will be a BIG deal!

  • ||

    I think the ability to tax drugs is the strongest argument for legalization when dealing with politicians. It's in their wheelhouse, so to speak. It's the worst reason, but I repeat myself.

    The issue that arises is the private growing by individuals. How do they tax that? Has homebrewing come under fire because it removes a revenue stream?

  • ||

    why not tax cannabis seeds, duh?

  • ||

    It's my understanding you can get seeds free from my neighbor down the street.

  • ||

    YOU CAN MAKE PAPER OUT OF IT!!!

    Oh, I see that that was already covered.

  • robc||

    Has homebrewing come under fire because it removes a revenue stream?

    Not really. The federal limits before taxes kick in are 100 gallons annually for an individual, 200 gallons for a household. Ive never gone over it. I know plenty of brewers who blow past it - so are brewing illegally.

    IIRC, the only state I know of that tries to get money off of homebrewers is NJ. Technically, you have to be "licensed" to homebrew. I think its something like $10 a year though. I dont think many bother to get it.

  • Ska||

    Nick - while there will definitely be people who are down to grow their own, I think most people would be put off at the idea of dedicating all the space, time, power and ability required. Certainly in urban areas, perhaps not as much in rural areas, but I just don't see that many people homegrowing when they can go to 7-11.

    When I was brewing my own beer, I still went out and bought beer also. How about the potential for the American equivalent of an Amsterdam cafe? There's a convenience/physical presence aspect to it too. I don't see the legalization of marijuana and a prohibition on growing it. Heavily taxed legal weed will still be much cheaper than illegal black market weed, and homegrowing might not be appealing except for a niche group of hobbyists.

    OK, I'll be 50 years old when pot is legal (or there about), so that was some fun fantasy.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's a loaded question, but that's a good thing. Many people are unthinking boobs who are more than willing to change their opinion just to be in the majority. If those people (~10%) are convinced that supporting legalized reefer makes them on the "winning team" maybe some politicians, no paragons of consistency or integrity themselves, will change their stance on the issue so they can be on the same "winning team".

    IOW, rigging the poll can affect the political landscape. I DON'T CARE THAT IT'S DISHONEST! Since ONDCP, MADD, DARE, etc are all dishonest fucks promulgating outright lies, misinformation, fabrications and blatant falsehoods, shading a poll question seems almost virtuous in comparison.

  • ||

    You can also grow tobacco and brew your own beer but most people prefer to buy it. Same goes for tomatoes, corn and any other product people buy at the store. Most people who smoke will buy it and not grow it themselves simply because Americans prefer convenience.

  • ||

    If you think about it, marijuana is referenced more than once in the bible. And if marijuana was legalized and even if they put a tax on it, I bet you the government wouldn't be in such a deep recession, and crime rates would go down. And wouldn't it just piss them off if they found a cure for a life threatening disease from marijuana? Marijuana has absolutely no negative effects on people. I haven't seen ANYONE die from marijuana!!

  • kinnath||

    If I recall, prohibition was repealed because the federal government needed the tax dollars. Alcohol taxes were a significant part of the federal budget prior prohibition.

    I have always thought that the tax angle would be the lever to move marijauna into the legal category -- just like state lotteries and tax revenues on dog/horse tracks brought gambling into the legal category.

    I also tell people that it will take less than a generation for Iowa farmers to grow marijuana so efficiently that no one can make money on it -- so bring on the federal subsidies baby!

  • ErickWood420||

    What we should do is have another prohibition. Take ALL the liquor out of stores, and see how the Congressmen feel about not having their Jim Beam after a hard and stressful day at the office, and see how it feels not having something to calm them down.

  • ||

    If you think about it, marijuana is referenced more than once in the bible.

    God does not make mistakes, and industrial hemp will be a BIG deal!

    With supporters like these, who needs opponents?

  • AB390||

    To all Californians who want marijuana legalized, regulated, and taxed like alcohol:

    We can make it happen. We can get Assembly Bill 390 passed and legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California.

    The majority must stop being afraid and speak out. We need to get organized. Let's flood the state Assembly and Senate with e-mail.

    It's easy to send your representatives e-mail supporting A.B. 390. Visit yes390.org

    Then spread the word. Get all your friends to visit yes390.org

    Post yes390.org on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Hand it out on business cards at concerts and on street corners.

    Californians, stand up for what you believe in.

  • ||

    Does that home garden ban that was floating around the last couple months have any legs? Is that being paired with a move to legalize MJ so they can be sure to tax every last leaf and seed?

  • ErickWood420||

    THANK YOU!! Do you really want to hear something f**** up? My mom recently got busted for under or equal to 2grams of marijuana. She had a court date yesteday, and she has probation for 1 year, $530 in fines, and a suspended license for 6 months.

  • ||

    Growing your own will be a hobbyist thing. Also unless Cannabis sativa can grow on old cheese in the refrigerator, most bachelors will be forced to purchase it.

  • travis||

    In the last 5000 years of recorded medical history, not one person has died from smoking marijuana. Before the 1920's, marijuana was not illegal in the United States. It has been used by other cultures for thousands of years for medicine, clothing, and tons of other uses. how can you argue with facts like that?

  • ||

    Hey Jacob, lets not get to much into "Slanted" questions on pot polls. CBS had a Poll that both the Anti-Marijuana activists and CBS themselves used in statements and articles to point out Non-majority support. Here is how they worded their poll as advertised, "Poll: Americans Oppose Legalizing Marijuana, Lowering Drinking Age". That poll my friend is way slanted. Take a look for yourselves, compared to that CBS Poll this one is Way to Fair in my opinion. Here is the link...http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/03/19/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry4877495.shtml. It's time and we do have the Majority. NO MORE SMOKERS SHOULD BE ARRESTED.

  • SpongePaul||

    Growing your own will be a hobbyist thing. Also unless Cannabis sativa can grow on old cheese in the refrigerator, most bachelors will be forced to purchase it.
    ___________________________________
    I take offense to that, but i also can cook very well. lol

  • Geoff||

    Prohibition is inherently unconstitutional. It baffles the mind that this is even a debate. The War on Drugs™ is a historic and massive failure. It serves as an example of law enforcement bureaucracy run amok. It is immoral and draconian that a plant, be it hemp or potent cannabis, is rendered illegal in the most free society in the world. If it allows people to make horrible mistakes with regard to their choice to use drugs, so be it. Give us back our right to choose between good and bad for ourselves.

  • ||

    "a sample of 3,937 voters weighted to match the 2008 presidential outcome-54 percent Obama voters and 46 percent McCain supporters."

    I could have sworn there were a handful of voters out there who didn't vote for either major party candidate, or who didn't vote at all because they didn't much care for anyone on the ballot.

    So the assumption of this poll is that only people who voted for a major party presidential candidate should be counted in assessing public opinion on this issue? Think that might skew the results?

  • ||

    Probably get my Libertarian card yanked for this but here it goes:

    I do believe marijuana is a gateway drug and it does open the door to harder drugs (based on anecdotal experience with *friends*). And while I would like to see it legalized, where do we draw the line?

    So let's say Marijuana is made legal for personal use, is heroin next for legalization? Are we going to be able to go into a 7-11 and score a ball of coke for a Tuesday night?

    Will our nation of road ragists get further out of control when everyone has access to crystal meth (I know Ovation manufactures it but that is a prescribed *medicine*)?

    In other words, once the government says "Yes you cannabis", where do we draw the line?

    Regards

  • ||

    And that's why we shouldn't allow mixed-race marriages. If we do that, we open the door to GAY MARRIAGE!!!

  • Brett Stevens||

    Sturmbannfuhrer,

    It's a good point.

    A true libertarian response is: let natural selection occur, and also let people segregate themselves as they see fit. That includes by sexual orientation, class, race, ethnicity and degree of antisocial tendency -- it's that last category you mention.

    Of course, it's taboo to say that people would ever be allowed to do such things. A community limited to upper middle class straight Christian whites? Why, that sounds like privilege! Yet this is what libertarianism is about: letting each us define our destiny, no matter how much it appalls others.

    I think you'll find that many of us will opt to be in communities where recreational substances are not easy to get. Just like many of us will opt to be in communities where 4 wheelers, big pickup trucks, and hip-hop are illegal. That's the power of human choice right there.

    Of course, others will be forced to confront the paradox of "freedom" as brought up by this little example: freedom means the ability to make all sorts of decisions, including hurtful and possibly destructive ones. Do we let nature sort it out, and hope our domination of technology has not obliterated natural selection? Do we blithely assume that tolerating bad behavior around us does not result in crippling consequences for the whole of society, including debilitating socialized cost and revolution?

    Well, those are the big questions, aren't they ;)

  • The Chad||

    My biggest gripe with these discussions of legalization is all the talk of tax benefits. OMG the gov't will generate SOOOOO much revenue!! Well, remember supply and demand. If it's suddenly legal, supply will skyrocket, while demand might slightly uptick. Prices will plummet.
    $40 an ounce doesn't seem ludicrous when you can pick it up at walmart. Granted, quality ganja will go for a premium, but nowhere close to current prices.
    Any business plan built on the premise of legalized bud will have to assume rock bottom pricing. The only way the government could still make lots of revenue would be monopolizing the sales and keeping pricing at the same level. A black market would likely still remain, well under those prices.

  • kinnath||

    So let's say Marijuana is made legal for personal use, is heroin next for legalization? Are we going to be able to go into a 7-11 and score a ball of coke for a Tuesday night?

    You bet.

    Will our nation of road ragists get further out of control when everyone has access to crystal meth (I know Ovation manufactures it but that is a prescribed *medicine*)?

    Not relevant, just scare mongering. There basic rule is you don't get to hurt other people. Being stoned is not a defense.

    In other words, once the government says "Yes you cannabis", where do we draw the line?

    We erase the line.

    However, I am willing to move it one yard at a time until we cross the opponents goal line. Then we can push our way out into the parking lot.

  • ||

    It's an appropriate time to legalize hemp, since the newspaper industry is dying. Now we can use the correct fiber for paper, rope, fabric and so much more, and have a great time doing it!

    Rot in pieces, William Randolph Hearst.

  • ||

    I think most people would be put off at the idea of dedicating all the space, time, power and ability required.

    It's a weed, isn't it? It doesn't take that much effort, unless you're trying to hide it and have very limited space to grow it in.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Saying pot is a gateway drug and we should ban it or be wary of it, is like saying we shouldn't trust doors, or just ban them outright, since they're just gateways to other rooms or the outside. Pot is no more a gateway drug than alcohol is, and that's perfectly legal. In fact I'd say you are more likely to stupidly try whatever anyone hands you when your drunk, than high. Does smoking pot mean you will end up addicted to heroin? No, of course not. Does it mean you will be around heroin? Not at all. It could happen, but just because you went and bought a 20 sack, doesn't mean it will, statistics are on the side of it not happening. Will *some* of the people who smoke pot move on to harder substances? Of course. But by the same token, will *some* people who drink move on to try harder stuff? Most assuredly. The gateway drug argument is also slanted as it puts the pot smoker into the arena of black market drugs, where most of what is sold is far more dangerous. Yes kids are more exposed to the hard drugs, but it's because you won't let them get their pack of Marlboro Marijuanna Filter Kings, regular or menthol, hard pack or soft down at their local 7-11. Lets say, for comparison, that you have 10 ravenous wolves in a zoo, would you pass a law saying that all kids had to walk to school through the wolf habitat? No, but we will pass laws saying that people who want to use a mostly harmless plant which there is a UTTERLY MASSIVE precedent for use of, and who's usage isn't decreasing in the slightest, and shows no signs of doing so, must go and get that plant from the wolves. Then we're going to complain that it's the plants fault for bad things happening.

  • ||

    So let's say Marijuana is made legal for personal use, is heroin next for legalization? Are we going to be able to go into a 7-11 and score a ball of coke for a Tuesday night?

    I certainly hope so. Take a look at Portugal's results from legalization of all drugs.

    -jcr

  • ||

    My biggest gripe with these discussions of legalization is all the talk of tax benefits.

    I agree with you on that. I'm rather offended at the idea that government is entitled to some kind of tribute for finally fucking off and leaving people alone.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Hopefully the feds will quash this nonsense about 'legalizing' pot. It sends a bad message to America's children that drug abuse is OK. Arresting users sends the right message to the children that drug use is illegal, unhealthy and wrong. Drug use is immoral, according to any law abiding citizen.

    What next, a debate on legalizing rape or murder because it costs too much to enforce? I fail to see the difference, because drug abuse is not a victimless crime because almost all violent and property crimes are drug related. Drugs cause lots of deleterious downstream effects on society.

    Taking the pot is not good for us, the government has a right and in fact an obligation to ban anything that isn't good for us. Any substance that make it's users feel good can be subject to abuse and is immoral and must be banned, except Alcohol because it has a long history of safe use in western society. Any law that helps the cops to keep us safe and sober is inherently a good thing, I'm all for it.

    I don't care about the constitution, it is only a piece of paper, it was a different time when it was written, they didn't have a war on drugs that needed to be fought. We need laws to make it illegal to even discuss the repeal of drug laws. Surveys like this that advocate the breaking of laws should be illegal, it sends a bad message to Americas children.

  • ||

    All the drug dealers who now traffic in pot will happily settle for incomes a fraction of what they are now. And the people who fail the natural selection test won't cost taxpayers any money because there will be no pressure whatsoever to provide them with benefits and services. And oh yeah, ethanol from corn is an ecological disaster but hemp will, like totally replace oil. Whatever, dudes.

  • John||

    Has homebrewing come under fire because it removes a revenue stream?

    It was illegal until the late 70s. Now it is no more that 200 gallons/year.

  • ||

    Strunbannfuhrer:

    Alcohol and tobacco are also gateway drugs. You will hardly find a soul who has used cocaine that did not use alcohol or tobacco first. According to the statistics, people who use alcohol and tobacco are several times more likely to have tried cocaine than those who have not used these other substances. Is there something about tobacco and alcohol that makes people want to use cocaine? Or does the fact that people use these substances just indicate that they are the types who gravitate toward intoxicants? Is it causation or just correlation?

    There is no proof that there is something special about marijuana that makes people want to use harder drugs. People who use harder drugs usually did use alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana first. People with those tendencies, the ones who will try everything or nearly everything, will try the first drugs that come along and probably those perceived as safest first. Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana aren't perceived as being just horribly dangerous and they are commonly used drugs that people are in most cases going to encounter before they run across the really hard stuff. Of course people who end up using drugs like cocaine or meth are going in most cases going to use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana first.

    The fact that marijuana is illegal makes it more of a gateway drug than it should be. The same people that sell pot are often going to sell other more dangerous drugs. It's all coming through the same channels. If we were to sell marijuana from shops sort of like liquor stores where clerks check to see that people are of age then marijuana smokers would be far less likely to be offered all these other drugs. How often does a clerk at a liquor store offer to sell you cocaine or ecstacy? Adults will be less likely to be offered these other substances and teens would be less likely to encounter them as well because those who get pot will get it the same way teens get beer today. They don't buy their beer from drug dealers. They use fake identification to buy it or they have an older friend or relative buy it for them.

    As for legalizing other drugs, I don't see drugs like cocaine or meth or heroin ever being made legal. Support for legalizing marijuana is at close to a majority now. What percentage of voters want to legalize meth? I doubt it's as high as 10%. We might very well change the laws such that we treat drug abuse and addiction more as a health issue than a criminal issue, but I seriously doubt we'll ever legalize drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin. The overwhelming majority of voters are dead set against doing that. I bet most of the drug legalization activism we see today evaporates when we legalize marijuana because so few people actually want to legalize the rest of the stuff. I bet marijuana will be legalized, and I bet we draw the line there.

  • A.G. Pym||

    Huh - I guess since I always check "Libertarian" on the Zogby polls I take, I never saw one with this question on it. (Not to mention "Pastafarian" until they added the "Atheist" button).

    I have had polls on car brand names and silverware designs, though.

  • SpongePaul||

    Juanita appears!
    STFULW&J.... lol

  • Ska||

    It's a weed, isn't it? It doesn't take that much effort, unless you're trying to hide it and have very limited space to grow it in.

    Which is why I stated that for rural consumers it wouldn't be as much of a problem as for urban consumers.

    Of course there's always the risk that your crops might yield shit, that the potency isn't as strong as you like it, pests destroying the crops or theft, off the top of my head. Sure you could throw some seeds in the backyard and grow some weed. Will it be any good? Are you going to have the patience to grow it, harvest it, cure it and store it? Or are you going to buy a $50 ounce of chronic and be back on your porch smoking a fat blunt in 20 minutes?

  • ||

    I do believe marijuana is a gateway drug and it does open the door to harder drugs (based on anecdotal experience with *friends*).

    If marijuana is a gateway drug, its because its a gateway to the black market suppliers of harder drugs.

    In addition, during alcohol prohibition, beer drinking was replaced by harder liquor for a lot of people, because of the black market in alcohol.

    But, regardless, even if prohibition hasn't caused to be a gateway drug, it has obviously failed from keeping to from being a gateway to harder drugs, no?

  • DJP||

    Sturmbannfuhrer,

    It's my experience that prohibition of marijuana encourages the "gateway effect".

    Many reasonable people, especially in the age of internet research, deem that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and worth trying.

    But due to prohibition, procurement and use of marijuana forces the users in to the black market which also contains the more dangerous drugs. Further, the marijuana users experience that the government is really full of bs with its marijauna "education", and is perhaps also full of bs with regards to its information on harder drugs. It is a tragedy for our country's youth who get burnt out and addicted to hard drugs since they quite reasonably assumed that the government must be lieing about all drugs like they lie about marijuana.

    If marijuana were regulated like alcohol and taken out of the black market, there would be a clear separation between the soft drug marijuana and the hard drugs.

    (Libertarian note: yes, no drugs should be illegal, but it is hugely practical to focus only on marijuana law. There is a giant swath of voters out there who strongly think our marijuana policy is ridiculous but who also think heroin would destroy the country if it were legal.)

  • deluded1||

    Growing cheap easy weed is..well, cheap and easy. But most people won't enjoy it, and it won't get you high.

    Gestation, sex identification, proper amounts of light, water and nutrients...in order to grow the higher quality brands, all this is necessary before you even begin the budding process. Outdoor limits growing season, but indoor costs are high with the price of electricity and the stronger, more powerful lights used.

    No, it'll spark new businesses in commercial growing, but home grown will be a niche thing to show off to your friends (much like homebrewing).

    That said, for idiots of the "gateway" persuasion, it has more to do with tendency. I know a number of casual to daily smokers who have never tried anything harder (and some who don't drink). On the flip side, I know coke and meth addicts who started by smoking dope. And knowing all of the, it wasn't as if you couldn't see it coming. It's all down to whether or not you believe in personal choice, freedom, and the natural consequences of those choices. Obviously some of you don't.

    Forgive the run on's, but my preview button doesn't work.

  • ||

    I checked on California's AB390. Here is what the state legislative website (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0351-0400/ab_390_bill_20090401_status.html) had to say about the bill's status:

    LAST HIST. ACT. DATE: 03/31/2009
    LAST HIST. ACTION : In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at
    the request of author.
    COMM. LOCATION : ASM PUBLIC SAFETY

    There is no indication of why the first hearing was "canceled at the request of author," or why there hasn't been any further action since the end of March. Does anyone out there know?

  • ||

    The legalization of marijuana would create enermous tax revenue for the government along with making those who chose to smoke avoid having to deal with "dealers". It would create more job opportunities and allow the dea to focus on real drugs...if one smokes pot the illgealization of it is not going to prevent them from smoking, only make it more dangerous and difficult for them to get it. why not make tax money off something that the united states people obviously want?

  • ||

    Steve D said:

    "All the drug dealers who now traffic in pot will happily settle for incomes a fraction of what they are now."

    Most people involved are just making a little money or getting free pot. This is not unlike what we saw during alcohol prohibition. There were probably millions of Americans involved in the supply side of the black market for alcohol to one degree or another. My grandfather and his brother had a still in the woods and they cooked up a little hooch to so they'd have booze and so they could sell a little to supplement their income from their carpentry business. When prohibition was over they got into building homes and later whole subdivisions. They didn't continue with a "life of crime." Most of the people involved did not continue in criminal enterprises. Gangsters like Al Capone stayed with a life of crime, but most people involved with the supply side of the black market for alcohol did not.

    Our government now estimates that Mexican organized crime make more than 60% of their income from marijuana sales. Some estimates put that percentage even higher. These organizations supply most all the cocaine, meth and heroin consumed here. They are already involved heavily in other illegal activities. When they lose marijuana they are not going to be able to replace the many billions of dollars they make each year from it. It is also going to hurt them to lose the countless marijuana sellers who sell their marijuana and also help them move their far more dangerous drugs. With so many marijuana sellers they always have plenty of people to tap to sell the cocaine they smuggle in, the meth they produce. This is one of their best resources. They'll lose that and the lion's share of their income. They will shrink. There just won't be the money there to attract the steady stream of recruits they attract today. They won't have the money have so many in law enforcement and the government in the take. They won't have so much money to hire all the mercenaries they use now. They will be smaller, less powerful and easier to contain. The black market for drugs, which really is mostly a black market for marijuana, will be much smaller and easier to contain.

    As for people who "fail the natural selection test," I seriously doubt there are that many of them who want to smoke pot who aren't already smoking it. We aren't keeping that many from smoking pot with our laws, and the few we do keep from doing it have shown that they are law abiding people with some self control or they'd be smoking it. The real screw ups are definitely not the types deterred by the slight chance that they could get caught and get a slap on the wrist. I truly don't think there are many people out there who really want to smoke pot but won't just because it is illegal. If people don't smoke pot, it's because there are so many good reasons not to smoke it, not because they are worried about the very slim likelihood of getting caught and having to pay a fine.

    Finally, on the point about hemp, it's not going to replace oil or save the world or any of this nonsense some people think it will do. It is a useful plant though and it's a shame we don't have a hemp industry. Most industrialized nations now permit hemp growing. We import all our hemp. If we legalized marijuana, companies like Monsanto would develop marijuana stains with reasonable potency that also have good fiber characteristics, high THC hemp. We'd end up with a hemp industry that would create jobs and benefit us in other ways. It's not some wonderplant that's going to save the world, but it is a useful plant our farmers should be able to grow.

  • ||

    The illegality of cannabis turns it into a gateway drug for alcohol addiction. Cannabis users may turn to alcohol as a substitute when it is unavailable due to illegality, or when they chose to come into compliance with the law. While both intoxicants are in their own way deleterious, the legal substance, ethanol, is toxic to the point of being deadly, and is physically addictive. While abstinance from all intoxicants is certainly the preferable path, cannabis could offer a legal alternative to deadly ethyl alcohol.

  • ||

    I want marijuana legalized because its prohibition doesn't benefit this country in any way whatsoever.

    The costs of the prohibition include, but are not limited to, 800,000 arrests every year, 6,000 brutal deaths last year alone at the hands of the Mexican cartels, $40 billion in direct enforcement costs and lost taxes, and distrust among our young people towards law enforcement and the government.

    The benefits of the prohibition are none, the costs enormous. We need to legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults, NOW!

  • ||

    Here's ALL you need to know about marijuana: I smoked my usual two 'wake and bake' jays and went for the taping of that well-known game show where you actually have to know a bunch of stuff as well as be able to strategize.

    Of course I won. Twice. And led the third game until the final question (which everybody in my family missed!)

    I never drink 'cause it makes me stoopid.

    Grow up, America, and legalize it. The amount of hypocrisy around weed denial in public is staggering.

  • ||

    Good points and good discussion everyone with a minimal of invective (which I shall endeavor to not lose sleep over..wish me luck in my struggle).

    I really think most of us are all in the same boat about legalization based on freedom of choice with the potential benefits far outweighing the potential negatives as a not-insignificant complementary incentive.

    Will it be legalized and offered in convenience stores? I doubt in my lifetime it will but should it indeed happen, I'll be @ 7-11.

  • robc||

    So let's say Marijuana is made legal for personal use, is heroin next for legalization? Are we going to be able to go into a 7-11 and score a ball of coke for a Tuesday night?

    I would have started with heroin instead of pot (not using, I mean legalizing, have no interest in using either).

    So, ummm, I dont have a line to draw.

  • ||

    U.S. CONSITUTION SAYS.....WE THE PEOPLE

  • ||

    I do believe marijuana is a gateway drug and it does open the door to harder drugs (based on anecdotal experience with *friends*).

    In chronilogical order, I at least sampled the following drugs -
    Caffiene
    Alcohol
    Nicotine
    Marijuana
    Cocaine

    PCP
    Barbituates
    LSD
    Amphetamines
    Heroin
    Psilocybin

    Going by the gateway hypothesis, if we outlaw caffiene, drug experimentation will cease.

    And while I would like to see it legalized, where do we draw the line?

    We don't.

  • robc||

    Of course there's always the risk that your crops might yield shit

    One of my early homebrew attempts was nicknamed "O'Doul's" for its lack of potency. It was tasty, but people were slamming it and not getting a buzz.

    I swear it was about 4.5% abv, but maybe I screwed something up in my measurements. :)

  • ||

    For my lovely Juanita -

    Evil hearted you.
    You kept,
    Kidding me along,
    With your phoney smile,
    And with,
    Your siren song smiling, beguiling,
    You lead me on 'til all hope's gone,
    Persuading, degrading,
    On my knees I try to please.

    But I love you,
    Just the same,
    And I want you,
    To remain,
    By my side,
    And you'll see,
    Just how much you,
    Mean to me.

  • ||

    Peru legalized/decrim'd about 5 years ago... at that time Peru was one of the top country's with major drug issues such as heroin and cocain... guess what happened. Drug use is lower than ever in Peru... They just legalized it all... meth users are down, cocain and heroin users are dwindling, even aids is on the lowest its been in years... by legalizing the substances people no longer saw the pleasures of use... and this comes from a society known for its drugs and usage. If this has worked more than once, why wouldn't it work for us... yes granted, legalizing just MJ would NOT resolve our issues, other than making mass amts of money for our gov't. I may be a MJ user myself, but am against unnatural supplements. However, statistics clearly show those harder drugs are being used less and less... what do you thing US?

  • ||

    It likes like Obama is behind the times. But don't worry, he still has the admiration of liberaltarians everywhere.

  • hmm||

    I'll get right on supporting this as soon as I find that Cheeto I dropped in the couch. God so hungry. Do you want to see the self filling water cooled 4 foot bong I built out of tin foil, an egg, and a hair brush? Have you seen my Cheeto?

    What are we going to do with all the AR15s and APCs the police departments have if we legalize weed? Come on guys the swat and ERT guys can't just play paintball on the weekend. They need some real action!! You can't take that from them.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    As far as I know, this is the first time a national survey has found majority support for repealing cannabis prohibition

    I was already to beef you about this line, recalling that around the time of Carter it was polling about 2:1 in favor, then I read

    as opposed to merely decriminalizing possession for personal use

    and I recall that the issue in the late '70s was de-crim, not full legalization.

    I've said before that I didn't believe that pot would be decriminalized (much less legalized) in my lifetime, having been disappointed so many times in the past. The current groundswell looks different than the past, however. Maybe I should start getting my hopes up again.

    .. Hobbit

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    I don't care about the constitution, it is only a piece of paper

    So's the bible, Juanita.

    .. Hobbit

  • ||

    @ Juanita | May 7, 2009, 2:56pm | #
    Hopefully the feds will quash this nonsense about 'legalizing' pot. It sends a bad message to America's children that drug abuse is OK.

    I don't care about the constitution, it is only a piece of paper


    Wow, Juanita, that is weapons grade stupidity that you possess. Constitution?? Written on hemp paper btw.

    Go back to the century you came from. The future is here and we don't want you.

  • oat willie||

    I know responsible cannabis users who started using tobacco and alcohol before moving on to cannabis.

    Tobacco and alcohol = the gateways to the gateway drug

  • ||

    Milk is a gateway substance.

    Research has shown that 99% of all heroin and cocaine users started with milk as their white substance of choice.

  • ||

    I voted for McCain. Ive done every drug known to man. Havent bothered with any of them for 10 years. I think all drugs including heroin, cocaine, and anabolic steroids should be legal. I think in two years half of the people who voted for Obama will say, "Fuck that tent revival con man."

  • ||

    Marijuana should be legalized it could boost the economy People already make about anywhere from 50$-250$ and thats on a bad day. Medically its pretty much a mild pain reliever gets rid of head aches and slight muscle discomfort. Its safer than alcohol people can't die from an over dose from Pot Maybe some driving restrictions for the use of marijuana. I really don't see the huge hissy bitch fit that people place upon something that was here before man. Weed Good. Man Bad.

  • riddlebaugh||

    It would be a boon for transportation, the environment, history lessons, and my self-esttem, because hippies wouldn't have to feel so ostrosized by society they don't bother cleaning up. And when I give young hitchiking hippies a ride, and tell them stories of the way it was 50 years ago when I was like them, I don't have to realize I probably smelled just as bad when I was wearing all my freak flags.

  • ||

    If marijuana were legalized the "gateway" theory would be smashed. This theory is the belief that the use of marijuana increases ones chances of using more dangerous drugs such as cocaine or heroine. But, here's how legalization would overcome this theory. The drug users more than likely moved on to the harder drugs because of their continued contact with drug dealers. They already know where to get the harder drugs, and have most likely been offered them. If marijuana was legalized then pot smokers would not come into contact with drug dealers. This would eliminate any exposure to the more dangerous drugs and therefore would finally bury this "theory" that all of these ignorant anti-pot supporters always rant about.

  • ||

    I'm a 61 year old conservative Republican. I enjoy smoking a doobie. Legalize it. I'm not going to eat YOUR Fritos.

  • somedude||

    I wonder why 7-11 never gets behind these bills. They stand to make a lot of money off illegal drugs, since they will all someday be available at your local one.

  • ||

    And I'm so sick of the pot is a gateway drug thing. Alcohol is the ultimate gateway drug. Most people's first buzz is from their first beer. If they like the buzz, they want more.

    All my friends that smoke (and are successful adults) never got into any hard drugs.

    Just legalize it. Sure it will be exciting for the first 6 months, but then you'll find things will be the same. The same smokers will smoke probably the same amount, and the folks that dont' smoke....won't. Life will move on.

  • ||

    Why spend money to put people in jail for marijuana, rather not make money off of it and let us sell it.

  • ||

    Has homebrewing come under fire because it removes a revenue stream?

    Just like homebrewing, growing marijuana means the average American user would probably have to read a book or something to master the intricacies. And how many Americans are actually going to do that?

    It would work out just like booze. A lot of people would try to grow their own, only to abandon it down the line because they can never grow better bud cheaper than the government can sell it to us. I am so ready to be able to buy a pack of Marlboro Greens.

  • ErickWood420||

    The gateway drug "belief" is a bunch of bull!! You can't get addicted to marijuana like you can tobacco. You guys should really check out that movie "Super High Me". It gives a bunch of really good points.

    Marijuana isn't life threatening. Look at tobacco and alcohol: you can get cancer from both. The most marijuana can do is shorten your lung capacity and make you feel like your floating on a cloud :)

  • asdf||

    "It would work out just like booze. A lot of people would try to grow their own, only to abandon it down the line because they can never grow better bud cheaper than the government can sell it to us. I am so ready to be able to buy a pack of Marlboro Greens."

    It's not hard, it's actually very fun, plus I save hundreds of dollars a month (and have more friends then I use to).

  • havana||

    i see decadence all around this conversation

  • Craig||

    And yet, Obama still chuckles at them before moving on to the next question.

  • ||

    An important question is whether we continue a system in which all of the money flows to criminal drug cartels, or do we legalize and tax marijuana so the money can flow to the public treasury and the rebuilding of America?
    The gang violence and destruction of public lands caused by criminals operating outside of the prohibition laws would end if individuals could legally grow a few plants of their own at home.
    One approach: support a personal use and cultivation permit, for example $100 for twelve plants, with the revenue split between the Federal and State governments.
    Let's let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own backyards and put the criminal cartels out of business.

  • hr mason||

    LEGALIZE IT FOR GODS SAKE !NOT ONE HUMAN BEING SHOULD DIE FOR THE SAKE OF A PLANT!!! JESUS WAS ANNOINTED IN HEMP JUICE !! GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THOMAS JEFFERSON GREW IT!! ..... MAKE ILLEAGAL . DRUGS THAT KILL!!!METH , HEROIN, BUT COKE LEAVES SHOULD BE OK !....UNPROCESSED COKE LEAVES LIKE THE ONES YOU SUCK ON IN PERU ,,ARE GREAT FOR STRENUOUS HIGH ALTITUDE CLIMBING ...ETC... USD TO BE IN YOUR SOFTDRINK!!!! AMERICA ,,, WAKE-UP ....PROHIBITION IS OVER AND THE FREEKS HAVE LEFT THE BLDNG>>>>>>

  • Cannabis Pundit||

    This is not a free country, to claim we have "freedom" is a lie. Being incarcerated and abused for life because you enjoy raising and eating your favorite species of plant is far from freedom. When gardening can carry a life sentence, you unquestionably live in a highly oppressive country. You live in a country that needs to be liberated. Prohibition is unacceptable in a free society, it doesn't matter if it has majority or minority support. We don't poll to find out the support level for slavery, we just know that depriving people of life and liberty without justification is wrong. It doesn't matter if there is majority support, prohibition is an atrocity, and the U.S. should recognize that if as a government they are in the atrocity business, they have failed and need to be removed from power.

  • ||

    Legalize it and treat it like alcohol - plain and simple.

    After 6 months of being legal, the same people who smoke, will smoke. The people who don't won't.

    Not much will change.

    And I'm so sick of the Gateway Drug Argument. Alcohol is the ultimate gateway drug. It's most people's first buzz. And if they like it, they want more. All of my successful friends that smoke never got into coke or crack.

  • ||

    PLZ LEGALIZE IT!! we are tired of going to jail for some weed it just dosent make sence

  • ||

    Legalize Marijuana i went to High School and College and now i am the same as i always was marijuana did not make me burnt like people say it does. It can not kill you.. why is it illegal?
    Also Hemp Oil IS THE CURE FOR CANCER!! So what is the problem with legalizing? It will also help out the economy and fix what the presidents
    before screwed up!

  • ||

    LEGALIZE IT!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    Caffeine is a "gateway drug!" ;)

  • ||

    Mary Jane should be legal cuz i don't want to get in trouble for smokin it n i dont wanna see my friends get in trouble...

  • ||

    I believe we should legalize it as soon as possible. Think about all those people who are suffering now, that could be helped by its legalization. We have proven it helps them. Think about the families that have to sit and watch their loved one suffer because the one think that could help is wrongfully illegal. After you think about that, think about all the good the taxation would do to our currently suffering economy. Were suffering, and marijuana could help. It would hurt nothing, and yet we still won't do it? I want to know why!

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