Jacob Sullum on the Rising Popularity of Marijuana Legalization

As of today, you can smoke pot legally in Washington, and you don’t need permission from a doctor. At midnight this morning that state's marijuana legalization initiative began to take effect, eliminating all state and local penalties for possession of up to an ounce by adults 21 or older. By next December, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is supposed to adopt regulations for marijuana growers and retailers.

Writing in The Daily Beast, Jacob Sullum notes that voters approved the Washington initiative and a similar one in Colorado by surprisingly healthy margins of about 10 points in both states, in contrast with a California legalization measure that lost by seven points two years ago. Sullum says a recent survey by Public Policy Polling suggests other states may be ready to follow Washington and Colorado’s example: It found that 58 percent of registered voters favor legalizing pot, the highest level of support ever recorded in a national poll. While the results of other recent surveys are less impressive, he writes, they also indicate that marijuana legalization is more popular than ever, reflecting a generational shift that politicians ignore at their peril.

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  • LTC(ret) John||

    Whee. Leviathan consumes the economy, you are told how much your toilet can flush, your shower can spray, how you can light your home, face a hostile army of bureaucrats whenever you want to do simple things like build a house or hire a worker, you can't put slat in food, transfats might as well be plutonium, but by God you can deaden the pain of living in the least free America ever with a joint. Celebrate!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    And an America in which I cannot type "S-A-L-T" correctly, grah!

  • DJF||

    Wow, that was close, I was about to get all fired up about the government telling me how much slat I could put on my food.

    That would have pushed me over the tipping point.

  • db||

    As long as they keep away from how much food I can put on my slut it's all good.

  • R C Dean||

    I was thinking you meant "slag", which on the whole probably doesn't belong in your food.

  • db||

    I don't smoke pot, so even if I lived in WA or CO this has no personal effect on me other than to give me hope that eventually the disastrous war on drugs will end.

    I'm somewhat less hopeful that the war on automatic weapons will end soon.

    Or possibly the war on the financially responsible.

  • ||

    The latest front of the war on the financially responsible has only recently opened up.

    You better dig in, that one's going to be with us for generations.

  • tarran||


    I want you to take a moment and look at the big picture.

    Why do we have the huge welfare state, transfer programs etc? It's because up to fifty years ago, humanity struggled to produce enough to provide comfortable lives for all its members. The bulk of support for all this bullshit comes from fear of privation.

    But that has changed. Now even a guy on welfare has a DVD player and a cell-phone that is more capable than Vanderbilt's personal assistant in organizing his life.

    So that fear of privation is far reduced from what it was. In the meantime, in fits and starts, people are demanding to be free. Not all at once, mind you, but in this sector and that. The best and brightest are less likely see the government as an awesome calling and are more incline seek to make a difference in other areas.

    I've long held that as society starts moving back in a freer direction, the government will become more deranged, because smart guys will be less interested in the public sector, so the morons, venal and sociopathic will come to dominate it. To me the utter idiocy coming from the Potomac is a sign that we are winning - like in a pitched battle when you are only seeing enemy corpses on the battle-field and none wearing your uniform tells you that you are advancing and taking territory.

  • sarcasmic||

    the government will become more deranged, because smart guys will be less interested in the public sector, so the morons, venal and sociopathic will come to dominate it.

    The problem is that those people still have the monopoly on initiating violence.

    And they will continue to use it.

    That's the path to tyranny.

  • tarran||

    Yes, but it will become increasingly ineffectual. They can only be so violent before mass outrage thwarts them.

    One are that would be interesting to look at is the end of Jim Crow. I suspect that the violence spiked before the end as the establishment fought harder to impose its will through violence before giving up.

  • SIV||

    cell-phone that is more capable than Vanderbilt's personal assistant in organizing his life

    Just try putting a diamondback terrapin on your EBT card. Ol' Vanderbilt might not have had an iPhone but he could have terrapin for lunch anytime he wanted to.

    http://www.nyfoodmuseum.org/terrapin.htmTake live terrapin, and blanch them in boiling water for two minutes. Remove the skin from the feet, and put them back to cook with some salt in the saucepan until they feel soft to the touch: then put them aside to cool. Remove the carcass, cut it in medium-sized pieces, removing the entrails, being careful not to break the gall-bag.

    Put the pieces in a small saucepan, adding two teaspoonfuls of pepper, a little nutmeg, according to the quantity, a tablespoonful of salt, and a glassful of Madeira wine. Cook for five minutes, and put it away in the ice-box for further use. Put in a saucepan one pint of Espagnole sauce and half a pint of consommé. Add a good bouquet, one tablespoonful of Parisian sauce, a very little red pepper, the same of nutmeg, and half a glassful of Madeira wine. Boil for twenty minutes, being careful to remove the fat, if any; add half a pint of terrapin and boil for ten minutes longer. Then serve with six slices of lemon, always removing the bouquet.

  • R C Dean||

    Now even a guy on welfare has a DVD player and a cell-phone

    And he's deprived if he doesn't have a Blu-Ray player and a smartphone.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As of today, you can smoke pot legally in Washington...

    Except for, you know, the Supremacy Clause. Three felonies a day, bitchez!

  • ||

    It isn't going to be the users that come under the heel of the Federales jackboot, it will be the producers.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Under our common law rights we've always had the right to toke. While what Washington did is good, it still legitimizes the state's power over our every decision.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    That too. Crap.

  • Raston Bot||

    I think the big takeaway here from WA and CO being the first states to legalize is suck it, California.

  • db||

    California used to lead the country. Now it's getting more and more washed up.

  • Raston Bot||

    California is still a national leader in taxes, environmental regulations, and unfunded pension liabilities.

  • Hyperion||

    reflecting a generational shift that politicians ignore at their peril

    It's really sad that this statement is so wrong. Being pro WOD will have zero effect on a politicians career. Why? Both parties do it and that is the only choice we have. The strategy is clear for politicians, promise people free shit and continue to oppress them at will with zero backlash.

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